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19 March 2003
The Takeovers Panel recently met to examine various matters relating to Mr George Gould, Gould Holdings Limited, the Rutherford family and Designer Textiles (N.Z.) Limited (DTL).
At the meeting the Panel noted that Mr Kevin Arscott of Christchurch, a substantial security holder with declared interests of 7.25% in the voting securities of DTL, appeared to have had close links with Mr Gould for a number of years.
The Panel has ascertained that Mr Arscott had acquired 500,000 DTL shares since the Takeovers Code came into force in July 2001.
The Panel told Mr Arscott that in its view he is probably an associate of Mr Gould in which event his acquisition of 500,000 DTL shares in November 2001 would have contravened the Code.
The Panel will not hold a formal meeting under section 32 of the Takeovers Act to investigate this matter because Mr Arscott has volunteered to give the Panel a legally enforceable undertaking to sell 444,444 DTL shares (around 1.4% of the total voting rights of DTL) within six months. The number of shares to be sold is slightly less than the parcel of 500,000 shares purchased in November 2001 as Mr Arscott has already sold a portion of his holding in DTL through the current 1 for 9 buyback offer.
The Panel accepts that at the time the purchase took place Mr Arscott did not realise that it was probably in breach of the Code.