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Wrightson stock halted for $100m share placement

Wednesday 24th September 2008

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PGG Wrightson, which is spending NZ$220 million to buy a half stake in meat cooperative Silver Fern Farms, had its stock halted for a placement of shares.

The company is conducting a bookbuild to raise NZ$75 million selling shares to institutions. It plans to raise an additional NZ$25 million via a NZ$5,000 per shareholder retail offer at about the same price. Wrightson will make an initial payment to Silver Fern of NZ$75 million and the balance on completion of the deal.

After Silver Fern Farms' shareholders approved the proposal, Wrightson "is now moving to complete the transaction as intended," it said in a statement today.

The Silver Fern deal gives Wrightson more leverage in the farming sector after it posted an 80% jump in full-year profit last fiscal year, helped by increased sales and a fee for its Uruguay dairy venture. Wrightson's sales rose to NZ$1.3 billion from NZ$1 billion.

Shares of Wrightson fell 3.7% to NZ$2.10 yesterday and have dropped 26% in the past month.

By Jonathan Underhill

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