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Escrow shares concern Tegel shareholders

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 1:58 p.m.

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Tegel shareholders say they're concerned about the potential impact of escrow shares on the market and a drop in the poultry company's share price which is trading 6 cents below the $1.55 price it sold at in its May initial public offering.

Affinity Partners, which retained a 45 percent share in Tegel after the float, and a number of directors and senior management holding just under 1 percent, have just over 163 million shares in escrow.

Tegel chairman James Ogden told shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Auckland on Wednesday that the escrow details were fully disclosed in the product disclosure statement (PDS) ahead of the float.

The first trigger date is in mid-December when Tegel announces its first-half results for the 2017 financial year.

Affinity can sell half its shares provided the volume-weighted average price of the shares in the following 10 days after the results announcement is at least 20 percent above the IPO price - or $1.86.

All the escrowed shares can be sold without restriction when Tegel's full-year results are announced in June 2017.

Ogden said Tegel's weaker share price reflected a drop in the overall NZX 50 Index of 7.9 percent since early September. "So Tegel is not the only issue," he said. The shares last traded at $1.49, and have dropped 10 percent this year.

Tegel shares were performing well after the May float, hitting a peak of $1.80 in mid-August, but have been mainly falling since which some commentators have blamed on the upcoming November float on the ASX of Australia's largest chicken company, Ingham's Group, which is Tegel's largest competitor domestically.

Tegel's export revenue passed the $100 million mark for the first time in the 2016 financial year and it's planning to start importing raw poultry into Australia by January.

Australia's poultry market is worth about A$7.1 billion (NZ$7.6b) and Tegel exported AU$70m (NZ$75m) worth across the Tasman last year, representing a 1 percent market share.


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