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Maori Trust injuncts Horizon Energy takeover poll

Friday 5th February 2010

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A Bay of Plenty Maori trust is delaying counting in the Horizon Energy takeover poll after achieving an interim injunction.

Trustees of Te Mana O Ngati Rangitihi Trust, based in Matata, sought an interim injunction seeking to prevent the counting of votes in the poll, which closed at noon today.

Eastern Bay Energy Trust is seeking to take over the 22.7% of the local monopoly electricity network company for $4 a share, after a hostile bid last year from its Blenheim-based equivalent, Marlborough Lines.

"Te Mana O Ngati Rangatihi Trust claims that information sent out with the poll documents was inadequate. The Eastern Bay Energy Trust disagrees," the company said in a statement. A hearing is set for Feb. 10 in the High Court in Auckland.

EBET intends to offer minority shareholders $4 per share for the 22.7% of the NZX-listed company that it does not already own, partly in a bid to keep the assets locally held after it opposed a takeover bid last year at $3.96 a share from Marlborough Lines.

“We are very disappointed that the application for an interim injunction on the poll was made at such a late stage. We are opposing the injunction application and are confident we will be able to proceed with the takeover offer as planned,” said Eastern Bay Energy Trust chairman David Bulley.

"The poll itself has not been interrupted, and we now await the outcome of the substantive hearing."

The poll of consumer-beneficiaries is required under the trust’s deed.

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