Cushings up Kirkcaldie stake

Selwyn and David Cushing have edged closer to the takeover threshold in Kirkcaldie & Stains, the Wellington department store owner whose property assets are worth almost twice the company's market capitalisation.

The Cushing family's investment arm, H&G, increased its stake in the firm to 18.49 per cent from 17.08 per cent, a substantial security holder notice to the NZX shows.

H&G picked up the 144,000 shares in 15 separate trades this month, underlining the difficulty in acquiring the illiquid stock.

Kirkcaldie's Harbour City Centre building has an August 2011 valuation of $46.5 million, which will increase to $48.7 million when earthquake strengthening is completed.

At yesterday's share price of $2.68, the company is valued at $27.5 million. The Cushings paid between $2.68 and $2.75 apiece for shares, or a total of $387,917.

"At this price we have been very happy to add to our holding, we will be heading to 19 per cent," David Cushing said.

In April, Kirkcaldie posted a wafer-thin first-half net profit of $11,000 in the six months ended February 28, down from $380,000 a year earlier. It flagged a full-year pre-tax loss.

The shares, which trade infrequently, have shed about 12 per cent this year.

- BusinessDesk

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