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Pyne Gould Corp Says It Is Time To Tidy Up The Boardroom

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington Oct 30 NZPA - In the wake of its massive capital raising, Pyne Gould Corp has signalled a boardroom shake up.

"The board as a whole, takes responsibility for recent events and we may have moved sooner on this were it not for our determination to fix the Marac problem before any changes were made," chairman Sam Maling told the annual meeting in Christchurch today.

It was now time to tidy up the board, he said.

The company will no longer have a common board for Pyne Gould Corp, Marac, and Perpetual Trust. Each business will have separate boards with specialist skills and the Marac board will have two directors who are not on any other board in the group.

The new boards are expected to be in place by the end of November.

Richard Elworthy, Warwick Steel and Stephen Montgomery are standing down, with Mr Steel withdrawing his nomination for re-election this morning.

Bruce Irvine, Bryan Mogridge and George Kerr, if confirmed by the meeting, would work on the transition to the new order, Mr Maling said.

Mr Maling will be standing down once the new appointments are confirmed.

He said the board had been "absolutely united" in the herculean task of rebuilding the business.

"In fact, if I had to go through the whole cathartic process again, and God willing I won't, I would hand pick this team to take us through," he said.

The company booked losses on a stake in PGG Wrightson but its biggest challenge was losses from the property book of its finance subsidiary Marac when the property market collapsed in late 2008.

That crash exposed weaknesses in the "way we were doing things in this part of the business", Mr Maling said.

Pyne Gould Corp undertook a $237m six-for-one rights issue and also raised $30m in an institutional placement. The capital raisings were supported by major shareholder Mr Kerr.

Mr Maling said the company's share register had changed dramatically as a result of the capital raisings.

"Our old and loyal shareholders have been diluted," he said.

These loyal shareholders included family, ex-staff and clients.

"But we faced a challenge which threatened the very existence of our business," he said.

The company's strategy is to become a New Zealand-listed banking and asset management business.

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