Warehouse founder talks shares

NICK KRAUSE
Last updated 17:24 23/11/2012

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The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall says he has no interest at this point in time in buying back the retail company.

Sir Stephen says a comment he made about preferring to have been able to buy shares under the so-called ''creep'' provisions has been misconstrued.

BusinessDay earlier reported Sir Stephen as saying he would buy back the company tomorrow - if he could.

The interview took place just after the company's annual general meeting in Auckland today where Sir Stephen had just been given shareholder approval to reacquire one million shares from the company's former CEO Ian Morrice, to whom he had sold the shares some years back.

He was asked by BusinessDay why he didn't exercise his rights under the creep rules which enable shareholders with over 50 per cent shareholding in a public company to buy up to five per cent of shares in the company per year.

''I explained that, under the Takeovers Code, my shareholding and that of The Tindall Foundation, were deemed separate and not one block of shares and, therefore, I was unable to creep as my own shareholding is well below 50 per cent,'' he said.

Sir Stephen holds 83m shares or 26.69 of the company, the Tindall Foundation charitable trust owns 66.3m or 21.31 per cent and members of the Tindall family hold 7.1m shares or 2.3 per cent through three family trusts.

When asked if he had been able to, would he have sought to buy more shares that way, Sir Stephen said he would.

''If I could creep, I would.''

He later clarified that he had assumed he was being asked about a more straightforward means to buying back the shares he had sold to Ian Morrice, for which he would have used creep rules had this option been open to him.

This corrects an earlier story that the Warehouse founder wants company back.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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