Silver Fern Farms announces contract extension and new special meeting date. Allan Barber reviews where this torturous process is at

Silver Fern Farms announces contract extension and new special meeting date. Allan Barber reviews where this torturous process is at

By Allan Barber*

Silver Fern Farms have issued two new media releases announcing a revised completion date for the contract with Shanghai Maling and a new date for the shareholder requisitioned meeting.

The revised date of 30th September for meeting the one remaining condition of the contract has been agreed in principle by both parties and is subject to agreement of both boards.

SFF’s CEO Dean Hamilton said “We needed to allow more time to answer the further information requests from the OIO and to then provide sufficient time for the OIO and then Ministers to consider the application. We continue to believe that the investment will be approved given its substantial merits.”

“The agreement to the new date reflects positively on the ongoing commitment of both parties to the transaction.”

The completion date for the contract will now be 4th January 2017, at which point Shanghai Maling will transfer the investment of $261 million. SFF’s current banking facilities run through until the end of October, while the banks have confirmed their willingness to extend their support provided the deal is still live.

The current season is proving to be more challenging than last season and profit will be down, as SFF chairman Rob Hewett warned earlier in the year. Trading conditions have changed significantly, with livestock prices at the same level as last year in spite of difficult trading conditions and a stronger than anticipated exchange rate.

The changing conditions make the shareholder requisitioned meeting, now set for 12th August, seem increasingly irrelevant and unnecessary. The company is totally confident its position is right and the vote at the meeting will not change anything at all.

Leader of the requisition group John Shrimpton appears to have changed his initial position where he expressed full support for the board and management to one where he is actively campaigning for a No vote. It is hard to see how he can claim not to want to disrupt and damage the company.

But he might have to have very deep pockets, if he wants to overturn the findings of the FMA and Companies Office which found no fault with SFF’s communication process with shareholders. But at least he has Winston Peters on his side!


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*Allan Barber is a commentator on agribusiness, especially the meat industry, and lives in the Matakana Wine Country. He is chairman of the Warkworth A&P Show Committee. You can contact him by email at allan@barberstrategic.co.nz or read his blog here ». This article first appeared in Farmers Weekly and is here with permission.

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2 Comments

Kyle Bass in recent interview on chinese banking system,highlighted 1 default in 2014, 15 defaults in 2015, 19 defaults so far in 2016 of which half were SOE,s,also corporate bonds appear to be freezing up since april 150 cancellations occured out of 210 announced deals, .Dont no which SOE,s gets paid or paying bills as this up to the 31 provencial heads to make this decisions this will masticise out in to a large devaluation of the renminbi over next year or two he feels,thus meaning a poor demand for our agricultural products.Dean Hamilton said in reference to prime range buy out that shanghai maling, a very sound buyer,hope he is right. Prudent management should at least have a couple of back up plans b and c,unless they are asleep. TICTY BOO