Rural Equities lowball offer warning

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 11:54 18/09/2012

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Rural Equities Limited is warning shareholders about a new unsolicited low-ball offer for shares from an Australian who has made similar low offers before.

Directors of the rural farm landholder and operator said shareholders had received an unsolicited offer to buy their Rural Equities (REL) shares for a price that was much less than market value.

Australian-based Stock and Share Trading has written to REL shareholders offering to buy their REL shares for $2.30 per share, a substantial discount to the latest market price.

REL shares traded yesterday on the Unlisted trading platform at $3.22 and $3.25.

Rural Equities owns a large portfolio of nearly 30 farms nationwide including about 14 in wider Canterbury.

Rural Equities executive director David Cushing is the son of well known businessman Selwyn Cushing. The Cushing family-based firm H&G Ltd has a controlling stake in Rural Equities.

Stock and Share Trading's sole director and sole shareholder is John Armour. Stock and
Share Trading is represented in New Zealand by Andrew Kennedy of Prudentia Law, Auckland.

Over the past year Stock and Share Trading had made three written offers to REL shareholders all at substantial discounts to the prevailing market price, Rural Equities said.

The latest offer had not only been made to shareholders with small parcels but to larger shareholders as well.

Such unsolicited approaches, commonplace amongst listed companies, are not against the law, the company noted. But directors wanted to ensure shareholders were not misled into accepting an offer that is significantly less than the prevailing market price.

The directors strongly recommend shareholders seek independent advice if they were considering accepting such an offer.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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