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Company Briefs

Friday 8th September 2000

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Montana Group won Commerce Commission clearance to buy DB Group unit Corbans Wines but has not yet made an offer. An appraisal report earlier this year valued Corbans at $130 million to $146 million.

Wilson & Horton owner Independent Newspapers & Media plc posted a 108 million euro ($224 million) June-year operating profit. New media losses cut the gain to E101.2 million and the bottom-line profit was E25.6 million, up 19%.

Clear Communications launched a new wireless broadband data service based on the unlicensed 2.4gigahertz frequency band. It said it would invest $209 million in infrastructure this financial year.

Cedenco said it would make a $3.1 million pre-tax profit for the September year. The company has invited takeover offers after 48.5% shareholder Brierley Investments' deal to sell its stake to Australia's Golden Circle fell through.

Brierley Investments' 46%-owned British subsidiary Thistle Hotels posted a 9% lower £29.4 million ($96.2 million) July half-year pre-tax profit ahead of the BIL result due yesterday afternoon.

Hellaby Holdings sold flow control systems distributor Taylors Ltd to Britain's Charles Baynes Plc for an undisclosed sum.

Fishing company Sealord, in which Brierley Investments is trying to sell a half share, reported June-year sales of $540 million and record earnings before interest and tax of $75 million.

Telstra Saturn secured a $900 million debt facility to finance its $1.1 billion nationwide broadband rollout.

Tower Ltd paid $A168 million ($222 million) for Australian financial planning group Bridges Financial Services Group. It also bought 25% of FSP. Rating agency Standard & Poor's said it did not expect Tower to undertake any new acquisitions for two years.

The Dairy Board continued its overseas expansion, paying "up to" $328 million for 51% of Brazil's fifth-largest dairy company, SA Fabrica de Produtos Alimenticios Vigor. It said Brazil's $11 billion dairy market was the second-largest in the Western hemisphere.

Kiwi Co-operative Dairies merged with Kaikoura Co-op Dairy, taking its industry share to 38%, behind New Zealand Dairy Group with 57%.

The Warehouse posted July-year net earnings of $70.1 million, up from $53.9 million a year ago.

Tourism Holdings' June-year net profit was $14.8 million, more than double 1999's $6.7 million but still below forecast. It is picking a $26.8 million profit this year.

Losses from discontinued businesses cut Broadway Industries' June-year net earnings to $148,000, up from a $8.1 million loss a year ago. Profit from continuing businesses was $462,000.

A Grant Samuel valuation of monopoly apple export marketer Enza valued the company at $35 million to $41.9 million, three to four times the price GPG and FR Partners recently paid for a 36% stake.

Auckland International Airport, in a stoush with airlines over landing fee hikes, posted a 20% higher $51 million June-year profit.

Australian conglomerate BHP will spin off its 51% stake in Steel & Tube Holdings into a new entity, OneSteel, that will list on the Australian Stock Exchange on October 23.

BOP Fertiliser posted a June-year pre-tax profit of $25 million on revenue of $310 million.

Qantas New Zealand launched services under its new ownership and has continued to have less flights because of pilot shortage.

The Commerce Commission cleared the New Zealand leg of the Glaxo Wellcome/
SmithKline Beecham
merger subject to the sale of the Vectavir cold sore product.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts won a two-week extension from the Commerce Commission to assemble its case for buying Turoa Ski Resort.

TrustPower copped an undisclosed fine for misleading and deceptive conduct for claiming to be "the only electricity supply company which is predominantly New Zealand-
owned." It is, but many others are wholly New Zealand-owned.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is integrating financial services providers Sovereign and Colonial's local businesses after taking full ownership of ASB Bank.

AMP NZ Office Trust announced an operating surplus of $31.9 million on the back of gross income of $66.7 million for the June 2000 year.

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