Silver Fern Farms’ shareholders have voted again and are strongly in favour of the 50/50 partnership with Chinese meat company Shanghai Maling.
A strong majority of 80.4 percent of votes were cast in favour of the 50/50 partnership, reinforcing Silver Fern Farms Board’s position that the partnership is in the best interests of shareholders and the cooperative.
The resounding support from shareholders came at a Special Meeting requisitioned by John Shrimpton and Blair Gallagher and a group which included 31 other shareholders who supported a statement stating they wanted to stop the $261 million investment into Silver Fern Farms.
The 80.4 percent of shareholders’ votes in support of the partnership follows the result of the October 2015 vote, where 82 percent of votes cast supported the transaction. Both vote results exceeded the 75 percent Special Resolution threshold put forward by the requisitioners.
Chairman Rob Hewett said it was pleasing shareholders remained overwhelmingly supportive of the partnership.
“While the Board has clearly stated its view that the outcome of this meeting could not bind the company given the valid and binding approval last October, it is pleasing to see shareholders reaffirm their support and maintain their confidence in this exciting opportunity to create a sustainable Silver Fern Farms,” Hewett says.
Hewett says the partnership would create a strong Silver Fern Farms.
“This partnership will enable us to generate higher, sustainable returns for our shareholders.
“Shareholders have again made it clear they want progress for their company. They want meaningful change and are genuinely excited about the prospects presented through this significant investment and partnership with Shanghai Maling.
“The Board has strongly disagreed with the negative stance on the transaction taken by Messrs Shrimpton and Gallagher. They have caused significant disruption and their actions have been damaging to the company. Their allegations have proven to be entirely unfounded. Independent reviews by both the Financial Markets Authority and the Registrar of Companies have found no issue with the information provided to shareholders in October 2015 or the actions of the directors.
Chief executive Dean Hamilton says the process to complete the transaction had continued with all outstanding information now with the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) for its consideration.
“We remain confident that we will achieve OIO approval prior to 30 September, and proceed to complete the transaction by 4 January 2017 as previously announced.
“The clear message from the voters is to get on with it and realise this opportunity ahead of us.”
2,610 shareholders voted representing 62.15 percent of eligible votes.