By Chris Hutching
Friday 28th July 2000
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It seems the share price is riding high on Mr Paterson's entrepreneurial reputation. He is the South Island's richest man, valued in the NBR Rich List at about $86 million, and punters clearly anticipate sharing his Midas touch.
When A2 Corporation listed mid-May the 20 million shares issued at 10c traded initially at 50c and have steadily firmed ever since to reach $1.80 this week.
A2 Corporation's chairman is Jim Guthrie, a Dunedin-based lawyer who takes care of some of Mr Paterson's business. He knew of no reason for the recent share price appreciation except that people obviously regarded Mr Paterson's reputation highly.
More information about the mysterious A2 Corporation is expected to be released soon. It has an interest in some intellectual property in the biotechnology sector, namely the production of milk proteins that slow the onset of diabetes and artery disease, according to work done by Auckland medical researcher Professor Bob Elliott. One of the beneficial proteins is called A2.
Mr Paterson's other interests in companies such as Southern Capital have also been clinching smart deals.
He has had his setbacks in the form of the Fiji coup, which has affected his resort interests at Denarau Island. Closer to his Waikouaitai home he ruffled feathers recently with his plans for the biggest poultry farm in the country. Demonstrators blocked the road near his lifestyle farm. He attracted criticism from Queenstown mayor Warren Cooper about a concrete block wall he built without resource consent in front of his holiday home at Lake Hayes, fortuitously saving it from an out-of-control car that left the highway.
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