Buyer looks to Bethunes as a listed shell

Bethunes chairman Christopher Swasbrook says nothing is expected to come from the approach, which is "not consistent with its investment strategy."

Bethunes Investments [NZX: BIL], which owns the Mowbray collectibles stamp dealership, says it has received an "informal" approach to buy the company as a listed shell.

Bethunes chairman Christopher Swasbrook says nothing is expected to come from the approach, which is "not consistent with its investment strategy." The company is currently looking for new businesses to invest in, with two opportunities in the preliminary stages of an investigation. It didn't immediately identify the party involved.

Mowbray is listed on the NZX website as Bethunes' sole asset. In February, it completed the sale of its Peter Webb Galleries to Melbourne's Mossgreen auction house. As part of the deal of that sale, the purchase price of $800,000 is to be paid in installments across three years.

Separately, it has made a complaint to the New Zealand police about actions of two of Peter Webb's former staff over what it terms the "misuse of intellectual property." Bethunes said the matter does not involve Mossgreen and, while the police investigate, it is considering initiating Employment Relations Authority proceedings.

Shares in Bethunes were unchanged at 1.7c and have fallen 80% in the past year. It listed on the NZX in 2000 at 50 cents a share in a $600,000 capital raising.

(BusinessDesk)

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