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Ex-Hanover chairman Greg Muir paid NZ$959,000 as Tru-Test boss versus company's NZ$1.49 million profit

Ex-Hanover chairman Greg Muir paid NZ$959,000 as Tru-Test boss versus company's NZ$1.49 million profit
Greg Muir.

Greg Muir, the former chairman of defunct property lender Hanover Finance, was paid NZ$959,000 as managing director of Tru-Test in the year to March, which is equivalent to 64% of the agri-tech group's NZ$1.49 million annual profit.

Tru-Test's annual report shows Muir's remuneration in the year to March 2011, including salary and short-term and long-term incentives paid or accrued for the year, at NZ$959,000. That's up from NZ$685,000 in the previous year.

Tru-Test, which is chaired by John Loughlin who was chairman of Allied Farmers when it bought Hanover's finance book from owners Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson in December 2009, made a NZ$1.49 million profit in the year to March 2011, turning around a loss of NZ$7.6 million the previous year. Its profit after tax from continuing operations was slightly lower at NZ$1.2 million versus a loss of NZ$1.7 million in the year to March 2010.

Muir's salary represents 1.1% of Tru-Test's annual revenue of NZ$84.59 million, while Fletcher Building's chief executive Jonathan Ling received a salary last year of NZ$2.8 million, which represents 0.9% of net earnings of NZ$283 million and 0.04% of total revenues of NZ$7.416 billion.

Muir joined Tru-Test in February 2009 with Loughlin describing him as the "ideal candidate" to lead Tru-Test. Muir was chief operating officer of The Warehouse from 1999-2001 and then its chief executive from 2001-2003. The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall is among Tru-Test's shareholders, alongside the Gallagher Group.

Muir, meanwhile, quit as chairman of children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch last November after pressure from some shareholders including Devon Asset Management's Paul Glass and Milford Asset Management's Brian Gaynor who were uncomfortable with his Hanover association. Muir said at the time it appeared his leadership of the Pumpkin Patch board was drawing attention away from the business itself.

The Pumpkin Patch resignation was hot on the heels of an unusual statement from the Securities Commission, when it announced it had nearly completed an investigation into the Hanover group of companies and might lay criminal charges against directors in the New Year.

Both the Financial Markets Authority, the Securities Commission's successor, and the Serious Fraud Office continue to investigate Hanover.

Property financier Hanover froze NZ$554 million owed to 16,500 investors in July 2008. Investors' subsequently approved a moratorium proposal that pledged to pay them back over five years. A year later, having got back just 6 cents in the dollar, Hanover investors again spurned the option of receivership and narrowly voted through Allied Farmers' debt for equity swap. Allied Farmers, led by managing director Rob Alloway and Loughlin, promised Hanover investors the opportunity of returns through future dividend payments and by an increase in the value of Allied Farmers' shares.

The deal saw the Hanover investors issued 1.9 billion Allied Farmers shares valued at 20.7c each which they swapped for their Hanover Finance, United Finance and Hanover Capital secured deposits, secured stock, subordinated notes and capital bonds. Allied Farmers shares, which are listed on the sharemarket, were today at just 0.5c.

Meanwhile, Tru-Test's annual report also reveals a "definition error" in the documentation for an ASB loan facility, which wasn't detected by either Tru-Test or ASB until after balance date, meaning Tru-Test was in breach of two loan covenants at its March 31 financial year end.

"On being advised of the breaches by the company the ASB Bank subsequently waived the breaches and is working proactively with the company to develop new documentation which accurately reflects the intentions of both parties. Despite this the International Financial Reporting Standards require us to disclose the (NZ$14.3 million) loans as a current liability on the balance sheet as at March 31, 2011 even though the loan is not expected to be repaid within 12 months," Tru-Test says.

Tru-Test's board also includes controversial Contact Energy independent director Phillip Pryke, who has twice been among Contact directors recommending minority shareholders accept ultimately unsuccessful takeover offers from majority owners Edison Mission Energy and Origin Energy. Tru-Test describes itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of livestock weigh scale indicators and milk metering equipment and a world leader in electric fencing and traditional fencing tools.

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makes one wonder when these companies and the government and local government  are going to get it. You dont need to pay this sort of money to attract talent and certainly some recipients of this largesse could not be described as talent given the record of success the have behind them. As an example why would aucklnad water services a monopoly need to pay someone 800 k per year this is absolute bollocks and under the economic conditions we are entering will be unwound or the businesses will go broke

A tadge sloppy there , Gareth . Variously comparing a CEO's salary to the firms net income , and then to it's gross revenue . Which figure is meaningful ?

..... neither , really . All that matters is the CEO's performance in creating value for the business .

If the business owners think Muir's worth so much , then that's their decision .

... meebee you'll compare Muir's salary with the GDP of Niue Island , next .

and i thought  that you could only get a bargain at the wharehouse.boy was i wrong.hey greg you have just failed another tru-test.

Gallery of Rogues ... its the moderrn NZ tragedy . Given the relative size of out little economy , the levels of corporate greed and excess in New Zealand is on a par and as disgraceful as Wall Street  

When they had pioneers like Faye....Ritchwhite, they had to be thinking ..well why not...?

They got it comin mentality is plenty alive n well in Corporate N.Z.

Steve Jobs who created a little more value than any mentioned above only ever took a salary of $ 1  yet created one of the world's most valuable companies from scratch.

We know who NZ needs more of !

RIP Steve Jobs

Yes of course undemocratic, unfetted, unregulated, unbridled progression of technology is just what society needs isn't it. Best you hope it all has your best interest in mind eh!

13 Years in high tech, you get to see some things thats for sure!


he took all his pay in stock options, his Apple shares are worth over US$2bn and he owned US$4bn of Disney shares.

He responded to the incentives of capitalism, that are so hated by the frequenters of this website.  He developed goods that people want to buy and shock, horror made himself and many others rich.

rest in peace Steve.

But of course Adam Feeley is busy defending himself over perking a bottle of champers from Rod's surplus stock - so progress might be further delayed on this one :-).