Group's proposals rejected

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014

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A group of dissatisfied Motor Trade Finance (MTF) shareholders had their proposals voted down at a shareholders' meeting yesterday, and will not be taking further action, the board says.

The group of nine shareholders, who hold 8.1 per cent of MTF shares, had raised concerns they could be hit by a court case surrounding the company and fees it charges clients.

They posed seven resolutions at the meeting, requesting further disclosure around the possible impact of the case and a settlement with Commerce Commission.

The board of MTF had advised shareholders to vote against the group's resolutions, which it said were "designed to undermine the management and governance of MTF".

All were voted down by a significant majority.

Dunedin-based managing director Angus Bradshaw said the board had met with concerned shareholders and been given an assurance they would not be taking further action.

"We all agreed we would put this behind us and get on with running the company," he said.

He said the final result was a "strong vote of confidence in the board and management".

The first six resolutions were all defeated by a majority of 83 per cent or more.

The final resolution, that the board provide regular updates to shareholders on the progress, received slightly more support but was defeated by a majority of 76 per cent.

MTF chairman Stephen Higgs said the resolutions were not in the best interests of the company, and thanked shareholders for their support.

The proposal was brought by a group of nine shareholders, all of whom were either MTF franchisees or motor dealers regularly using MTF financing.

The resolutions included that MTF's board advise shareholders of the maximum quantum of fees charged which could be regarded as "unreasonable" if the High Court decision is upheld on appeal, amend MTF's fee practices, appoint a sub-committee to oversee the case, and negotiate a settlement with the Commerce Commission.

When contacted by The Press, proposing group members Bob Batchelor and Douglas Rushbrooke would not comment on the outcome of the meeting.

The court case is over fees that MTF had charged 39 people who bought vehicles at the Sportzone Motorcycles dealership. Sportzone is in liquidation.

The case, instigated by the Commerce Commission, led to the High Court finding breaches of the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003 in respect to these fees.

The court case is continuing.

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- The Press

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