PGC emails reveal company plans

TIM HUNTER
Last updated 15:25 05/07/2012

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Emails sent by Pyne Gould Corporation director George Kerr reveal the company plans to move its primary listing to Australia and divest subsidiary Perpetual Trust.

The details emerged as it battles regulatory action by the Financial Markets Authority over multimillion dollar related party lending between Perpetual and a Kerr-controlled investment fund called Torchlight.

In correspondence discussing the issue with public relations adviser David Lewis this week, Kerr said PGC had been prepared for structural separation since April 2.

''We have a release in a few days saying PGC is relisting on the ASX and focusing on its sole business Torchlight ... and divesting Perpetual group,'' he said.

The email indicated current Perpetual executive Patrick Middleton would run the New Zealand unit while Kerr would remain in Australia.

He told Lewis: ''We need to ensure that PGC Torchlight speak from Sydney - never New Zealand - so they [the media] can email Yvonne - we don't take calls.''

Kerr's frustration with the FMA's action is apparent in the email exchange.

Advised to apologise rather than criticise the FMA, Kerr responded: ''Apologies? What exactly for?''

''That's what Helen said to me when I had the temerity to suggest Labour to apologise for the pledge card debacle,'' replied Lewis, a press secretary to former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

''There might be nothing to apologise for, but that's not how it will be reported.

''If you want to close this down in terms of the media, the best way is to grit teeth, say sorry and then move on and fight another day on your terms.''

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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