Brierley’s latest raid, SFO’s public policy change, Auckland office towers’ sale and inside the US shale gas revolution

Legendary corporate raider Sir Ron Brierley has taken a 2.87% stake in rural services firm Allied Farmers.

In today’s National Business Review, chief reporter Duncan Bridgeman reveals the small stake would have cost little more than $136,000 at today’s price but it makes Sir Ron the fifth-largest shareholder – while former Hanover Finance investors have had their shareholdings almost diluted out of existence.

In other news, business reporter David Williams outlines why the Serious Fraud Office will no longer confirm if it is investigating someone.

Property editor Chris Hutching reveals two potential redevelopment sites in Auckland, owned by NBR Rich Lister James Kirkpatrick, are being sold.

The NBR Rich List Huljich family, meanwhile, is backing Kiwi tech company Pushpay, a mobile payments company headquartered in Washington state.

A speaker from Penn State University – addressing an audience University of Auckland Business School – gives a fascinating insight into the US shale gas revolution, and the effect of low gas prices on companies tapping the Marcellus resource.

Business reporter Jamie Ball gets behind a dramatic decline in new forestry plantings and why the Emissions Trading Scheme hasn’t sparked a revival.

Shoeshine tackles listed governance software company Diligent Board Member Services’ tough road to redemption, and why it has a race to fix its past mistakes by June.

Victoria University’s Bronwyn Howell separates the ultra-fast broadband fibre “wheat” from the political “chaff,” picking apart government arguments that New Zealand’s poor fibre uptake is consistent with overseas experiences.

In her regular Heartland column, academic Jacqueline Rowarth outlines arguments from today’s students over brand power and advertising – for the likes of Telecom’s rebrand to Spark – and why what worked on their parents might not work on them.

A study of 20 chief executives, called Switched On, tells us what keeps CEOs awake at night, and why some are saying the rate of change within their company is the highest they’ve ever seen.

Briefly:

  • In Tray covers the rise of “Comrade” Matt McCarten in an exclusive letter from the Labour leader’s new chief of staff.
  • Media reporter Victoria Young delves into agency Lassoo’s new deal with global giant Havas.
  • In Economically Speaking, Neville Bennett explains why shrugging off Cold War attitudes might provide a useful insight into the Russian perspective on Crimea.

All this and more in today’s National Business Review. Out now.

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