12 Jul 2016

TGG ownership change likely to fuel takeover speculation

10:17 am on 12 July 2016

One of China's biggest fruit wholesalers has emerged as a significant shareholder in local produce exporter T&G Global, raising speculation over the company's future in the hands of two large foreign owners.

China's Golden Wing Mau Agricultural Produce is taking a near 20 percent stake in TGG, formerly known as Turners and Growers (T&G), after agreeing to buy most of the shares held by two local investors, Bartel Holdings and Tiger Ventures.

The Chinese investors are paying $2.95 a share, an 18 percent premium on TGG's last traded price.

TGG is controlled by Germany's BayWa Holdings, which holds 74 percent, but the investment by Golden Wing is seen as a significant change for the company.

The head of wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, Mark Lister, said it raised the prospect of a move to buy out the company.

"I expect that from here you will hear some of that takeover speculation emerge, it's not often you see one or two shareholders sit there and do nothing when they've got stakes of that magnitude."

TGG has an office in China, but said it was still digesting the Chinese investment, and hoped to have more to say later this week.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs