Bethunes narrows first-half loss as Retail Property break fee bolsters income

Bethunes chairman Christopher Swasbrook
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Bethunes Investments narrowed its first-half loss after benefitting from a break fee when Westgate Power Centre-subsidiary NZ Retail Property Group terminated a proposed reverse listing transaction.

Auckland-based Bethunes said its net loss shrank to $9,473, or 0.01 cents per share, in the six months ended Sept. 30 from a loss of $111,962, or 0.1 cents, a year earlier. The $75,000 break fee bolstered revenue after the real estate investor decided it wasn't a good time to raise capital. The stock last traded at 1.8 cents.

The company reiterated plans to acquire New Plymouth-based freight and logistics group Transport Investments Ltd for $200 million in a reverse listing. It said it expects to release all documents related to the transaction, including an independent appraisal report by Grant Samuel, to the market and shareholders later this month, with a shareholder meeting scheduled for early December.

TIL is one of New Zealand's largest private domestic freight and logistics platforms, with a nationwide network of branches, depots and warehouses.

Last month, Bethunes said the reverse listing will see it issue 73.3 million shares at $1.50 apiece, roughly $110 million in total, with the rest paid in cash, which will be covered by a new $100 million funding line with ASB Bank.

Bethunes will consolidate its shares on a 254.19-for-one basis, restating the share price to $2.54. The firm's existing assets would then be poured into a separate entity before the reverse takeover, after which Bethunes would raise at least $8.65 million selling shares at $1.50 to wholesale investors in a private placement around the time the deal's completed.

The transaction is subject to shareholder approval from both companies. If it goes ahead, Bethunes investors will own about 0.6 percent of the transport group, which will change its name to TIL Logistics Group and replace the board.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up by Christmas, although the parties have until March 31, 2018, to complete.

(BusinessDesk)


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2 Comments & Questions

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Besides Swasbrook, has anyone ever made any gain investing in Bethunes?. All I've seen, from the time of his return from Australia, is hype, a badly damaged Webb's Auction brand, and Swasbrook smiling all over the place like King Farouk after looting the coffers Achievements, please!.

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I don't quite understand this but am interested. I thought that Swasbrook and cohorts put their own money in when they did the most recent capital raise? And since then they have had two deals (NZRPG and TIL) that have been profitable for shareholders? Also curious about the Webb's Auction brand.... I thought it was brought by the previous board and run by Neil Campbell - https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shareholders-made-whole-after-inflated-sal... ? Just curious as I was actually looking at Bethunes ....

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