CRT chairman Don McFarlane says the company has received a
strong mandate to proceed with the proposed Farmlands merger,
following the first shareholder vote yesterday.
The first of two votes required to approve the merger was
completed at a CRT shareholder meeting in Christchurch
yesterday, with 85.5% in favour, which exceeded the 75%
Subject to a confirmatory vote by shareholders on February
27, a merger would proceed on March 1, Mr McFarlane said.
He was ''very pleased'' with the outcome, saying the boards
and management of both societies had put considerable effort
into the formulation and evaluation of the proposal before it
was put to shareholders.
''We thought it made sense; our independent advisers agreed
and now the plans have been endorsed by the shareholders of
both organisations,'' he said.
The result meant less than 3% of the total shareholder base
had voted against the proposal, which amounted to a strong
mandate to proceed, he said.
It is understood Farmlands shareholders yesterday also voted
in favour of the merger.
The merged entity would have 54,000 members throughout New
Zealand, more than 1000 staff, 47 farm supplies stores in the
North Island and 31 in the South Island with combined
historic sales of more than $2 billion a year.
A business plan for the merger identified potential net
synergy benefits amounting to $18 million from the third year