PGC reduces Wrightson, Heartland stakes

02:18, Jul 06 2012

Pyne Gould, the financial services firm under investigation by the Financial Markets Authority, has sold down its shareholding in PGG Wrightson and Heartland New Zealand for a combined $15.4 million.

The transaction saw the firm's wholly owned Torchlight subsidiary sell 40 million Wrightson shares for $11.6m and 7.5 million Heartland shares for $3.75m.

That reduced its shareholding in would-be bank Heartland to 7.85 per cent and in rural services provider Wrightson to 1.7 per cent.

PGC did not say what the capital would be used for but it may be used to repay the $13m Torchlight fund stilll owes PGC's Perpetual Cash Management Fund, the inter-fund lending at the centre of the FMA inquiry and action.

The sale comes days after PGC lost a bid in the Court of Appeal to keep the details of the $25m loan to Torchlight by Perpetual secret.

Perpetual is an asset manager as well as a trustee company.

The FMA demand that the loan be unwound, and to date about $13 million is still outstanding, according to reports.

News of the sell down came just hours after PGC moved to quash a BusinessDay report that it was planning to divest Perpetual Trust and move its primary listing to the ASX, saying nothing has been finalised as yet.

PGC shares fell 6.9 per cent to 27c today.

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