Strong support for board

Motor Trade Finances shareholders gave strong support to their board and management at a meeting...
Motor Trade Finances shareholders gave strong support to their board and management at a meeting in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien
The board of Motor Trade Finances received overwhelming support for its shareholders in Dunedin yesterday when seven resolutions questioning the performance of the company and its directors were defeated.

The margins of defeat for six of the resolutions ranged from 83% to 85%.

Resolution seven, which called for the company to provide regular updates to shareholders on the implications of the Sportzone case was defeated by 75%.

Chairman Stephen Higgs said in an interview the board believed it had kept shareholders well informed but would make every effort to provide timely information in the future.

''We are delighted with the resounding support from shareholders for the management. We want this to be the end of the matter so we can get on with growing the business.''

MTF was obliged to hold a special meeting after it was requested by nine MTF shareholders, who together held 8.1% of the company's shares.

The purpose of the meeting related to MTF's handling of the Sportzone court case and its communication and disclosure to shareholders in relation to the litigation.

The ongoing High Court civil proceeding was brought by the Commerce Commission in 2009 for alleged breaches of the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003, in respect of credit fees charged in 39 credit contracts originated by Sportzone Motorcycles Ltd (in liquidation).

The issue was complicated by a takeover approach from Heartland Bank, which seemed to seek the same information as the nine shareholders.

Further complications arose when Heartland was not prepared to enter into a confidentiality agreement.

Asked yesterday about the intentions of Heartland in acquiring MTF, Mr Higgs said the board did not make it part of the special meeting.

If Heartland was interested in acquiring MTF shares, there was a proper process w and he urged the bank to follow that process.

''For now, it is business as usual,'' Mr Higgs said.

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