Michael Hill calls shareholder meeting for move to ASX

The jeweller wants to move its primary listing to Australia but needs shareholder permission.

Michael Hill International [NZX:MHI] is asking shareholders for approval to move its primary listing to the Australian stock exchange.

The board of the New Zealand founded, Brisbane-based jeweller signalled in January it was considering a listing on the ASX. 

The company released a note to the NZX – its current primary listing – this morning, saying the move is in the company’s long-term best interests and it wants to do the listing through a scheme of arrangement.

That would mean a new Australian incorporated group parent would acquire all the shares in the company, through an exchange of shares on a one for one basis. 

Michael Hill would retain a secondary listing on the NZX.

Michael Hill chairwoman Emma Hill says a primary listing on the ASX will provide the company with direct access to a wider group of investors.

“We believe this will be to the benefit of all of our shareholders. On a day-to-day basis, we will have all of our governance, executive and business operations operating in one jurisdiction and this will considerably simplify our structure.”

Under the Companies Act, approval from shareholders and the New Zealand High Court is needed for the scheme of arrangement, as well as approvals of ASX and NZX to the necessary listings. 

A special meeting will be held in June and if shareholders agree to the proposal, the company will list on the ASX at the start of its new financial year on July 1. Approval is needed from 75% of shareholders from each 'interest class,’ as well as an overall 50% majority of all shareholders.

The company released its third quarter trading update last week. Same-store group revenue in the nine months to March 31 increased 5.1% to $A397 million while overall store sales increased 9.1% to $A420 million.

Australia is the jeweller's largest market, and revenue there increased 3.5% for the nine months. The company has 168 Michael Hill stores in Australia – and aims to open 15 to 20 a year – and 14 Emma & Roe stores, basing the trial of the charm jewellery brand in Queensland.

The company's share price is at $1 and has fallen 8.4% in the past 12 months.

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