NZ Refining to review New Zealand's 'laziest balance sheet' 27 Apr 2012
- Investors Displeased by Central Banks Business
- Steel & Tube shares recover from 15-year low Business
- China Construction provides $140M cash infusion for NZ unit Business
- Restaurant Brands to kickoff home delivery of KFC Business
- Grant Samuel rolled out again to back Silver Fern Farms deal Business
- Stephen Copulos becomes 2nd largest shareholder in ARB Business
- Godfrey Hirst granted leave for narrow appeal Business
- Dip in June milk collection not as big as previously thought Business
- NZ staff turnover rising as balance tips Business
- NZ dollar little changed after RBNZ signals rate cuts Business
New Zealand Refining’s board has promised to review its dividend policy, heading off a charge that investors bear the brunt of volatile earnings through gyrating payments and what one shareholder called “the laziest corporate balance sheet in New Zealand.”
The company that runs the nation’s only oil refinery needed small shareholder support in today’s crunch vote in Whangarei on a $365 million Continuous Catalyst Regeneration Platformer Project (CCR). The project required shareholder approval because of its size relative to NZ Refining’s market capitalisation of around $785 million.
Shareholders BP and Mobil, who hold 43 percent of the refinery’s shares, are understood to have opposed the CCR proposal, and the company mounted an unprecedented round of shareholder briefings to try to shore up a majority for the CCR.
If rejected, the refinery will still spend $105 million on a must-do upgrade to keep the refinery running past 2015.
The board’s most trenchant critic was former Contact Energy and Shell NZ director John Milne, who said it was “astonishing” that the company was in its 50th year of operation and “still has no dividend policy.” He criticised its policy of carrying almost no debt on its balance sheet.
Reduced dividends were identified as a major concern by other small shareholders, who depended on share income to meet living expenses.
However, chairman David Jackson appeared to expect the attack, announcing in his general remarks the board would later this year review the optimal gearing for the company, whose policy has been to completely repay debt raised for major projects at the expense of dividends.
While deleveraging had been prudent during the global financial crisis, the board and management would consider “whether this is appropriate for the long-term structure of the company.”
The review would be undertaken this year.
The touch and go vote occurred at 2pm, with a result to be announced to the NZX this afternoon. NZ Refining shares remain in trading halt in the meantime, having last traded at $2.75.
Craigs Investment Partners said in analysis this week the CCR option was the better of the two options, although it would prefer there was an option for delay, and warned there was no guarantee dividends would return to normal levels before 2020.
Milne said even though the company had substantial retained earnings, the board treated the payment of dividends as “purely discretionary.” Jackson, in turn, described NZ Refining as “highly cash-generative” despite the volatile impact of swings in global refining margins and the exchange rate on its profitability.
Milne also accused the board of failing to act transparently by refusing to reveal how many of the directors representing oil companies had opposed the CCR project, and to allow one of as many as four directors to explain to shareholders why they had objected.
Jackson would not allow such disclosures, saying communication should be directed through the chair and chief executive.
23 Jul 2016 News
The Nation On The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews John Tamihere and David Seymour Youtube clips from the show are available
18 Jul 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 18 July 2016 05:16 PM NZ caught in global backlash against Chinese steel imports July 18 (BusinessDesk)... more
13 Jul 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 13 July 2016 03:10 PM Regulator, shareholder lobby welcome customer obligation for financial... more
18 Jul 2016 Lifestyle
The Outlook for Someday Young New Zealanders Making Films For Good What does sustainability mean to you? Since 2007 The Outlook for... more
21 Jul 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 21 July 2016 04:55 PM UDATE: All five leading retail banks require 40% deposit from property ... more
30 Mar 2016 Migration
British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair is defending changes to skilled migrant rules for Britain but suggests they won't affect... more
12 Jul 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk NZ guest nights fell in May, snapping 25 consecutive monthly gains July 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest... more
22 Jul 2016 Sport
Shearing Sports New Zealand NZ shearers in Wales July 21, 2016 World champion shearer Rowland Smith has become the fifth New... more
21 Jul 2016 Netball
Netball New Zealand Wellington A Black wins Netball NZ U17 Champs titleMedia ReleaseThursday 21 July, 2016The capital has, for the... more
7 Jul 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on Tony Blair and the Chilcot Report | werewolf more
14 Jun 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on our paltry refugee response and a brazen US rewrite of the TPP First published at... more
13 Jul 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher FinlaysonAttorney-General 13 July 2016 New Supreme Court and Court of Appeal ... more
7 Jul 2016 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Fletcher chases 100 ex-pat Brits as construction sector faces capacity constraints July 7 (BusinessDesk) -... more