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PPCS not 'insider' says panel

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 30th May 2001

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Dunedin-based cooperative PPCS has been found not to have had any inside information before issuing a restricted transfer notice for meat company Richmond (NZSE: RHD).

Richmond had earlier asked for a 15 working day pause period before PPCS could increase its holding, claiming it had inadvertently been given price sensitive information about the company.

However the Market Surveillance Panel has ruled that PPCS was not in possession of relevant information and therefore could not be considered an "insider" according to listing rules.

"In reaching this decision, the panel considered Richmond's half-yearly report, its various press releases and company announcements," the panel says.

PPCS currently has around 17% of Richmond but could lift its stake to 60% anytime during the six-month period beginning this Friday. It plans to offer a price between $2.70 and $3.24 per share.

Richmond chairman, Sam Robinson, says the matter was always considered a fine judgment and the sub-committee had resolved to take a cautious approach.

"In responding to the Restricted Transfer Notice and to ensure an informed market Richmond is now updating shareholders on its performance for the financial year ending September 30, 2001.

Several weeks ago Richmond says it was on track to deliver a net profit after tax of $19.4 million, but now believes it will comfortably exceed that figure.

It says trading for the two key months of April and May is above budget.

Meanwhile the company says that the other minor matters relating to PPCS' restricted transfer notice had now been addressed by that company and resulted in an amended transfer notice.

It adds that following the NZSE decision no appraisal report is required.

Richmond shares closed Wednesday up 10 cents at $2.85.

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