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Week in review

Friday 10th October 2003

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Postie Plus has signed an unconditional contract to buy up to 10 of the Gardner Fashions clothing retail outlets. The new shops would reopen as Rendells Ladieswear Fashion stores and were expected to contribute about $500,000 of additional profit to the 2004/05 financial year, the company said.

Fidelity Life, the largest New Zealand-owned life insurance company, reported a record $4.3 million annual profit, up from $2.5 million a year ago. Fidelity has $165 million of funds under management, up $19 million for the year. Premium income rose by $5 million.

Public Trust chief executive Pat Waite said the Crown-owned entity would reinvest "a significant portion" of its profit in "strengthening our core competencies and service delivery" but didn't detail how much of the $90,000 profit was involved.

Fletcher Challenge Forests will pay Campbell Group half a $17 million break fee so it can talk to rival forest estate bidder Kiwi Forests, and it will pay the other half if Kiwi is the successful buyer. Kiwi is offering $725 million and Campbell $685 million.

Wellington Drive Technologies released two new motors, for ventilation and refrigeration, at a German trade fair.

Shares in market minnow Pure New Zealand were suspended from trading when the company failed to file its annual report on time. Market observers are unsure why Pure continues to pay listing fees.

Australia's Toll Holdings warned Tranz Rail shareholders it might still walk away from its $1.10 a share offer if its 90% acceptance condition wasn't met by today's deadline. If it does Tranz Rail can fall back on a previous deal with the government.

Tomato grower Cedenco Foods delisted from the New Zealand Exchange following a $2.30 a share buyout by majority shareholder SK Foods.

KPMG Corporate Finance said Trans Tasman Properties' 85Ac a share takeover offer for Australian Growth Properties was reasonable but not fair. The price matches recent trading levels but not AGP's $A1.01 net asset backing.

Waihi Gold Mining complained to the Commerce Commission that New Plymouth-based electricity lines company Powerco was abusing its monopoly. Powerco has been one of the most strident critics of the commission's draft regulation plan for lines companies.

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