One of the main shareholders of the company Mega plans to
use to achieve a listing on the stock exchange is facing market
manipulation charges in Australia.
The online-storage company Mega - launched by Kim Dotcom last
year - is doing a back-door listing on the New Zealand stock
The deal was unveiled this morning and will see Mega merge
with NZX-listed TRS Investments. One of TRS' major
shareholders is Paul Choiselat, who is facing charges
relating to concealing his interests in listed companies and
alleged market manipulation.
TRS will acquire all of Mega's shares for $210 million and
Mega's shareholders will be issued 700 new TRS shares.
Following the transaction, Mega's existing shareholders will
hold 99 per cent of TRS shares.
TRS will change its name to Mega after the deal.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission last
December laid 20 charges against Choiselat relating to his
disclosure of his interests in two ASX-listed companies, Q
and Jumbuck Entertainment.
Between 2001 and 2013 he was a director of Q and between 2004
and 2008 he was on the board of Jumbuck, ASIC said.
ASIC said Choiselat had the roles of managing director or
executive chairman at the companies during most of these
The Australian corporate regulator alleges the disclosures of
Choiselat's interests in these firms were "false as they did
not include his total interest in the companies."
"The disclosures excluded interests held through various
offshore entities registered in the British Virgin Islands
and managed from Hong Kong," ASIC said last December.
Choiselat is also facing 5 charges alleging market
manipulation, ASIC said.
Choiselat told the Herald this afternoon that he could not
comment on the case as it was "sub judice".
The Melbourne man, in his late 50s, is not a director of TRS
and said any questions about the Mega merger should go to the
listed company's chairman.
While the merger requires shareholder approval, Choiselat
couldn't comment on if he would agree to it or not.
Mega chief executive Stephen Hall said it was hoped the
merger would be finished by the end of May.
Hall said the proposed deal had been in the works for "some
"It's obviously been part of the Mega's strategy for a long
time to become listed," he said.
"There's just so much interest in Mega within New Zealand and
globally and investors are keen to be part of the story and
keen to invest and as a growth company it will need capital
and we're keen to open it up and let people get involved."
This week Dotcom and his co-accused, Finn Batato, Mathias
Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk lost a bid in the Supreme Court
to access US government evidence against them ahead of the
Mega's existing shareholders include Dotcom's wife Mona, who
owns 26 per cent of Mega via MD Corporate Trustee Ltd,
followed by Wolf Ortmann with 18 per cent, and Michael
Sorensen via VIG Ltd with 11 per cent, according to Companies
Office filings. John Schollum, via Hobson Street Holdings
emerged as a Mega shareholder this week with a 2.3 per cent
Dotcom stepped back from a hands-on role at Mega last year,
resigning as a director in August to focus on his extradition
hearing, music streaming website and political aspirations
via the internet Party. He doesn't hold any directorships in
New Zealand, and his only direct shareholding is in RSV
Keith Jackson chairman of TRS Investments was formerly chief
executive of Tegel Foods from 1980 to 1996. He was the
founding Chairman of the Poultry Industry Association of New
Zealand, and chief executive of Ernest Adams.
- by Hamish Fletcher, NZ Herald