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COMPANY BRIEFS

Friday 30th June 2000

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ASB Community Trust appointed Deutsche Bank to review its 25% stake in ASB Bank and may sell in the face of a $125-million bill for its share of Colonial's New Zealand business. ASB's majority owner Commonwealth Bank of Australia has pre-emptive rights.

Brierley Investments conceded it may have to book writedowns this financial year, which ends today, and possibly book a loss. The share prices of its two largest assets, Thistle Hotels and Air New Zealand, are trading well below their book value, but chairman Sir Selwyn Cushing said he didn't believe the value of the assets was permanently impaired.

Clear Communications dealt itself out of next month's third generation cellular spectrum auction and is instead looking for a partner through which to deliver 3G services.

Baycorp Holdings announced a strategic partnership between its joint venture Australian arm, Alliance Group Holdings, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. CBA has taken a one-third stake in Alliance while Data Advantage Group holds the other third.

Richina Pacific chairman Sir Allan Wright told the annual meeting to expect a profit this year on the back of a strong first half. All operations were trading above last year's levels.

An injunction from ISP Ihug to delay next month's third-generation spectrum auction will be heard in Wellington on Tuesday. Maori groups are separately seeking a similar injunction.

Fletcher Challenge Energy said a preliminary assessment of the Pohokura gas and condensate prospect showed an estimated 165 million barrels of oil equivalent, twice the level of its pre-drilling estimate.

Takeovers Panel chairman John King said the Takeovers Code, sidelined for five years, would go to the government for enactment with only a few minor technical changes.

Telecom and its Australian subsidary AAPT will supply telecommunications services to transport group Owens in both countries.

Lion Nathan paid $5.6 million for 20% of start-up Perth microbrewery Little Creatures Brewing. A premium brand is expected to be on sale by November.

The Wellington High Court granted leave to two Fletcher Challenge shareholders, Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr and the wife of Act MP Stephen Franks to pursue an insider trading action against former FCL chairman Kerry Hoggard.

Northland network operator Northpower will distribute to customers the $22.5 million proceeds of the sale of the retail arm.

Kiwi Co-operative Dairies is doing due diligence on Tasman Milk Products and will seek shareholders' approval for a merger.

New Zealand Post reported a 31% higher $30.2 million March-year profit and paid $18.1 million of dividends to the government. Operating revenue was up 17% to $921.5 million.

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