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#1 User is offline   magnacarta 

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 02:15 PM

From this story below, it is difficult to accept ACC assurances that it is now reviewing its public funds investment instructions to external fund managers.

The ethical investment of public funds has been part of due diligence and good corporate governance imposed on Government entity Board's of Directors for years - at least in most countries it has.

To only do so now, apparently because you got caught, is simply inexcusable.

____________________________________________________________________
Govt tobacco investments under fire

02.12.05 1.00pm


The Government is accused of double standards for investing in tobacco companies overseas, while it encourages New Zealanders to cut back on smoking.

Council for Socially Responsible Investment (CSRI) chairman Robert Howell said today that five crown financial institutions were investing in overseas tobacco companies.

The Labour-led Government has aggressively tried to reduce smoking levels in New Zealand by increasing taxes on cigarettes, advertising campaigns and promoting programmes that help people quit.

Last year it passed laws banning smoking in all workplaces including bars.

The five institutions highlighted in Dr Howell's report include National Provident fund, Earthquake Commission, Accident Compensation Corporation and Finance Minister Michael Cullen's Superannuation fund.

National Provident is also understood to be investing in a company operating in Myanmar.

Many governments -- including the United States -- have imposed trade and investment sanctions on the country's military regime in a campaign to press for democratic reforms in the Southeast Asian state.

Earlier this year, Dr Howell wrote to all crown financial institutions asking them for a list of companies they invest in, those they have excluded from investment, and their policies and how they implement these.

The results of his research were released at a CSRI "Reward, Risk and Reputation" seminar in Auckland this morning.

He has said he wants ethical guidelines to be strengthened to remove such companies off the Government's "okay to invest in" list.

Dr Howell is encouraging New Zealanders to think about government investments, and decide whether they think such investments are acceptable.

CSRI is a non-denominational charitable trust which promotes ethical, sustainable investment, and helps people and organisations to develop guidelines, investments and methods for socially responsible investment.

ACC said today it does not have any "direct internally managed investments in any tobacco companies" but said it does invest part of its funds through overseas external fund managers.

In a media statement, the Chairman of the Board of ACC said the agency was reviewing its investment instructions to external fund managers in relation to any indirectly managed investments in tobacco companies.

- NZPA
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#2 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 05:31 PM

oh my my my... shades of deja vu. Remember last year, (or was it the year before? must have been here too long!) when ACC was publically criticized for investing heavily in DB breweries whilst at the same time supporting the ACC Drink Drive campaign. Now I can fully endorse the drink drive support but talk about hypocrites!!!
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#3 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:02 AM

Wasn't Helen Clark the Prime Minister of New Zealand when the above Government Departments were investing in tobacco companies?

Helen Clark shocked at tobacco award

http://www.stuff.co....t-tobacco-award

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 13:01 18/07/2012

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has reacted with shock to a business award given to India's top tobacco company.

Clark, who is now head of the United Nations Development Agency, was at the ceremony where India's largest cigarette maker, ITC (formerly Indian Tobacco Company), won the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD) highest prize for improving the environment and removing poverty. The award was supported by her agency.

This drew an angry reaction from a leading Indian health advocate who termed it a travesty of justice.

In New York, Clark released a statement to explain her position.

"I have worked tirelessly throughout my career to achieve a smoke free society in New Zealand, and was, thus, shocked to learn that a World Business Development Award, supported by UNDP, was given to a company which derives a substantial proportion of its profits from tobacco," she said.

"Unfortunately the criteria for the World Business Development Awards did not exclude projects implemented by companies from certain sectors like tobacco. This has clearly been a serious oversight. "

Clark said UNDP would review its rules and regulations and ensure than an incident like it never happened again.

"UNDP will not participate in these awards in the future unless companies like this are excluded," Clark said.

"I retain my strong commitment to anti-tobacco policies and will continue to fight for the health and well-being of citizens in New Zealand and around the world."

Pranay Lal of Union Southeast Asia, a lobby group fighting tuberculosis and lung disease, yesterday said the award was "possibly the biggest travesty of justice even by the UN and the World Bank's weak ethical standards....

"What is tragic is that Helen Clark, a responsible prime minister and wife of a respected public health expert could not have given this award in New Zealand or any other developed country." Lal said.

Clark is married to Auckland University public health specialist Peter Davis.

ITC's chairman, Y C Deveshwar, accepted the award.

"I receive this award with humility and pride, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of tribals and poor farmers whose lives have been transformed by ITC's Social and Farm Forestry initiative," he said.

* This story has been edited to reflect that Clark did not present the award. She did attend the ceremony.


- © Fairfax NZ News

http://www.facebook....lark.supporters
Helen Clark shared a link.
12 July
Earlier this week I was on a panel at the UN's Economic & Social Council's annual session on the importance for development of tackling corruption. Corruption not only robs countries of much needed money, but is also corrosive of societies & political systems. UNDP works with the UN Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) to support adherence to the UN Convention Against Corruption. My speech is attached to this link, & there is also reference to a publication we released last year on illicit financial flows from least developed countries. http://www.undp.org/...-level-segment/
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#4 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:23 AM

Unclaimed Monies

http://www.npf.co.nz...40a2e64fa3.html

The Board of Trustees of the National Provident Fund (NPF) holds money for a number of members with whom contact has been lost. This money was contributed to an NPF superannuation account and contact was lost as a result of members changing their employment and/or address and not keeping the NPF Scheme administrator informed.

If you think some of this money may be yours please complete, in full, the form below and return to the NPF Scheme Administrator at the address noted below. Datacom will compare the information provided with the NPF records and respond to you within 6 weeks.

Please be aware that many members contributed only small amounts over a short period of time and, for these members, any money held may not be significant (less than $10).

_____________________________________________

View Postmagnacarta, on 02 December 2005 - 02:15 PM, said:

From this story below, it is difficult to accept ACC assurances that it is now reviewing its public funds investment instructions to external fund managers.

The ethical investment of public funds has been part of due diligence and good corporate governance imposed on Government entity Board's of Directors for years - at least in most countries it has.

To only do so now, apparently because you got caught, is simply inexcusable.

____________________________________________________________________
Govt tobacco investments under fire

02.12.05 1.00pm


The Government is accused of double standards for investing in tobacco companies overseas, while it encourages New Zealanders to cut back on smoking.

Council for Socially Responsible Investment (CSRI) chairman Robert Howell said today that five crown financial institutions were investing in overseas tobacco companies.

The Labour-led Government has aggressively tried to reduce smoking levels in New Zealand by increasing taxes on cigarettes, advertising campaigns and promoting programmes that help people quit.

Last year it passed laws banning smoking in all workplaces including bars.

The five institutions highlighted in Dr Howell's report include National Provident fund, Earthquake Commission, Accident Compensation Corporation and Finance Minister Michael Cullen's Superannuation fund.

National Provident is also understood to be investing in a company operating in Myanmar.

Many governments -- including the United States -- have imposed trade and investment sanctions on the country's military regime in a campaign to press for democratic reforms in the Southeast Asian state.

Earlier this year, Dr Howell wrote to all crown financial institutions asking them for a list of companies they invest in, those they have excluded from investment, and their policies and how they implement these.

The results of his research were released at a CSRI "Reward, Risk and Reputation" seminar in Auckland this morning.

He has said he wants ethical guidelines to be strengthened to remove such companies off the Government's "okay to invest in" list.

Dr Howell is encouraging New Zealanders to think about government investments, and decide whether they think such investments are acceptable.

CSRI is a non-denominational charitable trust which promotes ethical, sustainable investment, and helps people and organisations to develop guidelines, investments and methods for socially responsible investment.

ACC said today it does not have any "direct internally managed investments in any tobacco companies" but said it does invest part of its funds through overseas external fund managers.

In a media statement, the Chairman of the Board of ACC said the agency was reviewing its investment instructions to external fund managers in relation to any indirectly managed investments in tobacco companies.

- NZPA

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#5 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 02:43 PM

Kerr under pressure in fund revolt
TIM HUNTER
Last updated 05:00 28/09/2014

http://www.stuff.co....-in-fund-revolt

http://static2.stuff...47/10553647.jpg

Investors in a secretive private equity partnership are rebelling against its manager, enigmatic Kiwi businessman George Kerr, as scandal threatens to engulf the $240m fund.

The Torchlight Fund, now domiciled in the Cayman Islands, was formed in 2010 to invest in distressed assets such as South Canterbury Finance.

The identity of its partners has never been formally disclosed but Fairfax NZ understands they include New Zealand government entities Crown Asset Management and ACC, whose estimated respective exposures stemming from the South Canterbury collapse are about $30m and $2.5m.

NZX-listed Pyne Gould Corporation, whose majority shareholder and managing director is Kerr, also has a 27 per cent stake in Torchlight valued at $59m. Another big investor is the Bear Real Opportunities Fund run by Australian financial advisory firm Van Eyk Research, which is understood to have an exposure of $60m.

On Thursday the Australian Financial Review reported Van Eyk's Sydney offices had been raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as it investigates alleged irregularities at its fund management division.

The concerns stem from another Van Eyk fund's A$31m investment in London-based Artefact Partners that is believed to have also been channelled into Torchlight.

When the money could not be repaid on demand, Van Eyk was forced to freeze its Blueprint International Shares fund in early August - a move that led to its own collapse into administration on September 15.

Amid regulatory probes into Van Eyk on both sides of the Tasman, the Torchlight general partner is under increasing pressure over its handling of Torchlight.

Among sources' worries is an apparent discrepancy in Torchlight's accounting of a land deal on the outskirts of Wanaka.

The land, in an area known as the Outlet where the lake flows into the Clutha River, is part of a residential development planned by Queenstown-based investor Chris Meehan and his wife Michaela, a former Danish Olympic sailor.

According to property records, the 108-hectare plot was acquired by Torchlight entity Real Estate Southern Holdings in June 2010 for $17 million. Two years later, in July 2012, it was sold to Michaela Meehan for $32.5m.

That's a remarkable gain, but Torchlight investors are curious about how the fund's accounts appear to have recorded the transaction. Audited financial statements seen by the Star-Times show Torchlight recorded a loss on disposal of investment property of A$6.6m ($7.2m) in the year to March 2013.

The Wanaka land was transferred in May to a company apparently owned by trustees whose sole director is also the sole director of Real Estate Southern Holdings.

One Torchlight investor expressed frustration at the fund's disclosure.

"I've found getting information out of Torchlight near on impossible," he said. Accounts were late and very hard to interpret.

Fairfax NZ asked Kerr why the accounting treatment of the land sale did not appear to match the property record. In a statement, he said the transaction was "only a few million dollars - nothing like $32.5m". The land was sold for cash and a future right to receive 100 lots subject to zoning.


Meanwhile, investors say they are mystified by a A$10.3m performance fee claimed by Torchlight's general partner, a subsidiary of Pyne Gould, after the shift to the Cayman Islands in November 2012. Kerr said the restructuring made the partnership more tax efficient for overseas investors and allowed it to raise A$100m.

But it is also subject to potential legal action by receivers of the previous New Zealand-based Torchlight vehicle, Torchlight Fund No 1 LP, chasing an alleged debt of A$33.6m. The claim relates to A$37m borrowed in August 2012 by Torchlight from Australia's John Grill, founder and former CEO of engineering firm Worley Parsons.

The loan was for 60 days, with any extension carrying a fee of A$500,000 a week. Torchlight's accounts say the loan was outstanding by March 2013 and it had agreed to repay A$57m in principal and fees. Only A$37m has since been repaid.

Receiver, Kare Johnstone of McGrathNicol, said the transaction shifting assets to the Caymans was being investigated. "Our key duty is to gain control of the assets," she said.

Kerr said the general partner was confident it has the support of the overwhelming majority of limited partners.

THE TANGLED WEB

George Kerr, New Zealand businessman, managing director and 77 per cent shareholder of: Pyne Gould Corporation, a listed investment company which is 27 per cent shareholder and managing partner of: Torchlight Fund Limited Partnership, whose London-based executive is: Richard Boon, founder of Artefact Partners, a hedge fund co-owned by George Kerr whose investors included: Macquarie Bank and the Blueprint International Shares Fund, whose manager was: Van Eyk Research, on whose special investment subcommittee was: George Kerr and whose responsible entity was: Macquarie Investment Management whose former shareholder was: Torchlight, and whose products included: The Bear Real Opportunities Fund, a A$55m investor in: Torchlight Fund LP

- Sunday Star Times
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#6 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:44 PM

EU launches tax action plan to crack down on sweet deals
3:55 AM Thursday Jun 18, 2015

http://www.nzherald....jectid=11466908

BRUSSELS (AP) " The European Union's tax watchdog unveiled on Wednesday a plan for tackling corporate tax avoidance and ending the practice of sweet deals for multinational companies.

The EU's executive Commission also published a blacklist of 30 countries it says are not doing enough to crack down on tax avoidance. The list ranges from Belize to Panama, European principalities like Monaco to Hong Kong and Pacific nations like Vanuatu.

"These tax havens cover the five continents," said Pierre Moscovici, the EU's top tax official. He urged them to quickly adopt "agreed international standards" to fight against tax evasion.

The plan aims to make sure that multinationals pay taxes where they generate profits, that tax rules in one country do not penalize others, and that honest businesses don't lose out to unscrupulous competitors.

"Our citizens can no longer tolerate that certain companies, often the most prosperous, avoid fair tax contributions and that certain tax regimes encourage them on this path," Moscovici said.

The move is part of a wider crackdown that has followed the leak of documents alleging some multinationals have preferential tax deals with Luxembourg.

The EU set up a committee in February to probe national tax rules in the wake of the scandal.

The Commission also opened tax investigations last year into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Amazon in Luxembourg. On June 8, it set a one-month deadline for Estonia and Poland to provide long-overdue information about their tax practices or face court action.

The focus now is to create a single set of rules for companies in the EU to use in calculating their profits, and to ensure that the taxes are actually paid. Another aim is increasing transparency, with the Commission considering whether to force companies to make certain tax information public.

The EU blacklist is made up of countries that figure on at least 10 national lists of tax havens compiled by the 28 member nations. Luxembourg is not on it.

Half the countries are from the Americas. The full list is: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Andorra, Guernsey, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Liberia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu.
AP

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings
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#7 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:48 PM

PGC-owned Torchligh Fund fights legal action in Cayman Islands

MARTA STEEMAN

Last updated 11:17, July 24 2015

http://www.stuff.co....an-islands.html

Real estate investment firm Pyne Gould Corporation said its Torchlight Fund LP would vigorously defend itself in legal action taken in the Cayman Islands.

Torchlight Fund LP was a private equity fund investing in long term assets and was designed for long term investors, PGC said.

Through one of its subsidiaries PGC held 25.33 per cent of the fund at March 31, 2014, it told the NZX this week.

About 2000 investors, many from Canterbury, are shareholders in PGC, once a large and influential Canterbury investment and finance company.

The company is now run by businessman George Kerr, a descendant of one of the founding families.

Some investors are wanting to cash up their investment in the Torchlight fund and are petitioning to have the fund wound up.

The general partner running the fund is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGC, and believes "this is an ill considered and meritless action which has no prospect of success", PGC said on Friday.

"Given this matter is before the courts PGC does not consider it appropriate to make detailed comments in respect of this matter......" PGC said.

PGC said this week that historically the Torchlight fund had been considered an associate of PGC.


But for the current financial year ending June 30, 2016, Torchlight fund would be treated as a subsidiary of PGC.

The manager of the fund, a subsidiary of PGC, received management, investment acquisition and performance fees from the fund.

PGC told the market recently that it had cut the value of the fund by £7 million ($16 million) after the audit of the fund for the year to March 31, 2014.

- Stuff.co.nz
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#8 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:58 PM

Just who does this so called Independent economist Shamubeel Eaqub think he is?

He seems to think he knows all the answers to everything when in fact he doesn't.

Perhaps it's time he got a real job and the media learnt not to waste time and space on him.

Frankly we are sick of the sight of his name popping up with whacky opinions.


Fonterra fights flak over $430 million of interest free loans to farmers

MARTA STEEMAN

Last updated 05:00, August 15 2015


http://www.stuff.co....oans-to-farmers

Fonterra has been accused of treating its unitholders "like scum" by independent economist Shamubeel Eaqub.

Eaqub said the dairy giant's offering of $430 million of interest free loans to dairy farmers was terrible for unitholders. The huge amount of money was earning nothing for two years.

"That's a terrible deal for any equity holders in Fonterra - essentially for all the people in the shareholders' fund. It's ridiculous"

Investors who want to invest in Fonterra can only do so through buying units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (FSF). The units are entitled to the economic rights- dividends attached to Fonterra shares - which farmers can sell to unitholders. The units have no voting rights.

"It's an outrage," Eaqub said,"because it essentially says you guys don't matter. Your equity is not worth anything and they are treating them like scum."

"Fundamentally my big issue is how can you tell your investors that the return on their capital is going to be zero per cent on however many hundreds of millions of dollars it is."

"It's also the unequal treatment of the two types of owners," Eaqub said.


Fonterra's decision on the loans would ultimately lead to questions about the governance and structure of Fonterra, he said.

Fonterra chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini said he totally rejected Eaqub's comments.

The cooperative looked at the totality of shareholders and unitholders and had an obligation to both.

Management pursued a clear strategy to maximise returns and the milk price.

"And we will only do what is in the best interests of pursuing those two targets."

He said the tenor of a conference call with investors and analysts after last Friday's announcement lowering the forecast milk payout and announcing the interest free loans, was very different from the comments Eaqub made.

Investors in the units understood why Fonterra made the decision and appreciated the funding for the loans was coming from Fonterra's efforts to reduce working capital through changes to the business.

While the investors would rather see the money used elsewhere they understood the cooperative wanted to deliver strong earnings and needed a strong farmer base for that.

He said that was the opinion also of investors on the call.

"I had no comment not even close to the comments that you have," Paravicini said.

"We don't look at one or the other constituency. We look at the totality. We do what is best for the interests of the cooperative and their shareholders."

Paravicini said Fonterra had thousands of investors. "You cannot base your judgment on one investor who has not talked to me."

The biggest New Zealand unitholder is ACC with almost 4 per cent of the FSF, according to the latest annual report, but its investment team was not willing to comment on the loans issue. Paravicini said ACC would tell Fonterra what it thought.

New Zealand Superfund is also a shareholder in FSF but would not comment either.

One large investment manager Paul Glass of Devon Funds Management said the loans decision was political and not commercial. Devon is not a shareholder in FSF.

Glass said the decision raised governance concerns about Fonterra, already quite heavily indebted.

"I'm not convinced as yet that this is a particularly prudent course of action," Glass said.

"Even if you look at where Fonterra's forecasts sit, they appear to us to be consistently wildly optimistic and is something that possibly is irresponsible," Glass said.

Inherent in Fonterra's forecast milk payout last Friday of $3.85 a kilogram of milk solids was a very strong bounce in commodity prices, Glass said.

"I think it is a very aggressive thing to do to forecast a bounce in a commodity that the market has not seen," Glass said.

It was dangerous because a lot of people would be working out their budgets on the basis that Fonterra had greater insight into commodity prices, Glass said.

In his opinion the fortunes of other commodity businesses like iron ore and coal business such as Solid Energy showed the board of a company had no greater insight on where the commodity price was going than anyone else.

Paravicini said it was dangerous for commentators to comment on Fonterra's forecasting when they did not take the time to understand how Fonterra did them.

Fonterra made forecasts on best estimates and information available to them at that point.and had an obligation to forecast for the whole season, he said.

He invited critics to look at their last two or three seasons announcements, and on the claims of wildly optimistic forecasts he wondered if Fonterra and the critic were looking at the same figures.

Fonterra was transparent on what information it based its forecasts and there was a range around its forecast. It gave clear information on what had to happen in the world market to achieve the forecast. The international milk market nowadays reacted immediately to new information and that was different from years ago and made forecasting difficult, Paravicini said.

Fonterra knew that there were events in the world that might change and have a material impact on the milk price. Those were mentioned in the announcement such as the current exchange rate, a weather event, a pick up of in Chinese demand and geopolitical elements.

Fonterra gave as much information as possible around how they reached the forecast so farmers were informed to take positions on their budgets in a cautious way.

Agriculture academic Professor Keith Woodford said unitholders were frustrated anyway because they thought when the milk price fell their investment would fare better than it was.

But he reckoned they would not object too much to the interest free loans.

"I don't think they will feel too badly about that in the greater scheme of things."

"I think they will forgive Fonterra for giving an interest free loan because they will agree largely themselves that they don't want to see the farmers in too much difficulty or they don't get product at the end to make a profit themselves."

Sharebroker James Smalley of Hamilton Hindin Greene said he did not think the $430m of interest free loans was a big deal.

If Fonterra did not help its farmers some would fail and their Fonterra shares could be sold to other farmers who might decide not to supply Fonterra. That was the alternative..

Because interest rates were low and falling the cost to Fonterra of no return on that money was less than it might have been.

Smalley said it seemed reasonably prudent and would not have a significant impact on dividends to unitholders.

He noted that the price of the FSF units, $4.70 last Friday before Fonterra's announcement, rose after the news and that was indicative of how investors regarded the announcement which included the free loans to farmers.

Dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said the "scum" comment was harsh and a bit unfair because Fonterra was a cooperative.Supporting its farmer suppliers was what a cooperative like Fonterra would do.

She knew analysts who applied a discount to the valuation of the FSF units because Fonterra was a co-operative and different from a straight corporate model of business.

- Stuff.co.nz
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#9 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 04:57 PM

NZ Super Fund and ACC may join NZ Post as Kiwibank owners
Friday, April 8th, 2016

http://postandparcel...iwibank-owners/

New Zealand Post has received an indicative offer from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to purchase 25% and 20% respectively of Kiwi Group Holdings (KGH) – the company that owns Kiwibank and its associated businesses such as Kiwi Wealth Management and Kiwi Insurance.

The NZ Super Fund and the ACC are the Crown’s two major investment funds – so the set-up would mean that Kiwibank will remain 100% Crown-owned (i.e. public owned).

The offer is based on valuing KGH at $1.1 billion, which would mean New Zealand Post receiving $495 million.

New Zealand Post Group Chairman Sir Michael Cullen said that “no deal has been finalised yet and it will take some weeks for a process to be worked through, however we wanted to be proactive in our disclosure”.

Sir Michael added: “New Zealand Post approached the Government and pursued the initiative because it considers that NZ Super Fund and ACC are strong potential shareholders for Kiwibank as a Crown-owned bank. The two investment funds hold assets of over $60 billion between them, while New Zealand Post continues to face headwinds in its core mail business.”

Sir Michael said New Zealand Post has provided approximately $400 million of capital to Kiwibank over its lifetime. “We believe now is the right time to broaden the bank’s support base within the wider public sector, and this provides the NZ Super Fund and ACC with a rare opportunity to secure a significant minority stake in a large and well-performing unlisted New Zealand business.”

The proceeds would allow New Zealand Post to invest in its core parcels, packages and letters business and pay down debt. It is anticipated that a special dividend would also be paid to the Crown, Sir Michael said.



Source: New Zealand Post
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