Rainbow's End to get Wellington owner

Last updated 10:18 26/11/2012

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Wellington investment holding company Rangatira Limited is making a takeover bid of just under $10 million for Rainbow’s End theme park owner New Zealand Experience.

Rangatira has entered a lock-in agreement to buy the 74.86 per cent of New Zealand Experience currently owned by Canadian-based Garlow Management.

South Auckland theme park Rainbow’s End saw its net profit rise $1.4m in the year to June as visitor numbers rise 4.4 per cent to 307,000, the most people it had pulled in since 1995.

Rangatira has been rebalancing its $150m portfolio recently, following the sale of its investments in Te Kairanga Wines, Tecpak Industries and Dunlop Living last year that netted around $30m in total. In September the company, which has a 75 year history, bought a 15 per cent stake in Auckland software firm Konnect for $3.5m.

Chief executive Ian Frame was unable to comment this morning but said recently that the business was looking for riskier investments with high growth opportunities. 

Around two thirds of Rangatira shares are held by charities and the remainder by individual investors who trade holdings on the Unlisted stock market, where its shares were unchanged at $6 each this morning. 

Rangatira owns Auckland Packaging Company and the majority stake in specialised pumps manufacturer and designer Precision Dispensing. It also owns half of bacon and processed meat business Hellers, half of engineering maintenance and petrochemical plant cleaner Contract Resources and a 51 per cent stake in Polynesian Spa at Rotorua. 

New Zealand Experience issued a statement to the NZX this morning saying it understood Rangatira would give formal takeover notice within the next five working days. It had engaged Simmons Corporate Finance and legal advisor Harmos Horton Lusk to assess the offer.

Garlow Management, the company that owns the stake in New Zealand Experience that Rangatira is looking to buy, is operated by the trustees of Toronto businessman George Gardiner’s estate. The stockbroker, museum founder, racehorse breeder and philanthropist died in 1997. 

New Zealand Experience shares were unchanged at 41c a unit at the time of writing.

Contact Jazial Crossley
Wellington business reporter
Email: jazial.crossley@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @msbananapeel

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- The Dominion Post


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