Charlie's Group founding shareholders should pat themselves on the back for the $2.75 million they made selling down a portion of their shares this week.

Stefan Lepionka, Marc Ellis and Simon Neal sold at 18c per share - close to the 19.3c high they hit on November 25.

In July, the price was as low as 7.7c.

The move comes after the trio resisted selling up the business last year, rejecting offers from several industry players.

Then, shares were trading at 11.5c.

This week's buy-up by institutional and private investors also shows there is belief the company has more potential.

And of course it's likely some believe there'll be another takeover offer waiting in the wings in the future.

Charlie's shares closed up 0.2c at 17.5c yesterday.


A year after telling shareholders it paid fees of $152,100 to investment banking firm McDouall Stuart for its advice on the purchase of Prime Finance, Allied Farmers has corrected the amount to more than double that.

Placed at the bottom of its notice of its annual meeting last Friday was a note correcting the figure to $398,795 plus GST.

That's quite a jump - and quite a lag before telling investors the correct amount.

Asked why the amount had not been corrected before last Friday, Allied Farmers managing director Rob Alloway said as far as he knew it did not need to be corrected until the notice of meeting for this year.

The amount was not just for one year but for several years' work, although it does not include more money paid to the firm for this year's proposed capital raising, which did not go ahead.

McDouall Stuart is run by Andrew McDouall who is also a director and shareholder of Allied Farmers.

Alloway said it took related party transactions seriously and was doing its utmost to ensure it was as transparent as possible.


Proxy voters wanting to have their say at Allied Farmers' annual meeting on Tuesday would also have missed the cut-off deadline if they were waiting to get hold of the form via the NZX website.

The form did not come out on the exchange until after midday last Friday. According to the notice of meeting, shareholders wishing to appoint a representative to vote on their behalf must send the form back to Link Market Services - no later than midday on Friday.

Alloway said he wished to communicate better with staff and shareholders.

Stock Takes suggests a good start would be not putting out announcements on a Friday afternoon. Shares in Allied Farmers closed on 2.2c, down 0.1c.


Talk around the market is that concerns have been so high about information leaking out on Telecom's bid for the ultra-fast broadband roll-out that its advice is being handled directly from Sydney.

Telecom uses Goldman Sachs as its adviser and talk is that a Chinese wall has been put out between the Australian and New Zealand offices to ensure the details are kept out of the local market.

The delayed announcement by Crown Fibre Holdings on who has won the tender process must be keeping Telecom on edge.

The company has made it pretty clear that if it doesn't get the main Auckland market it won't be very happy.

The announcement had been expected to come by the end of October but just a few weeks away from Christmas it still hasn't arrived.

Telecom's shares closed up 3c yesterday on $2.18.


Investment manager Tower has had to replace its entire New Zealand equities team after deciding to move its asset management arm from Wellington to Auckland.

Five people out of seven elected not to make the move from the capital to the big smoke and of those, three were in the equities team.

The departure at the top level has allowed for some internal promotions, with three people stepping up to new roles as well as four external appointments.

The team has now grown to eight people, with external appointee Richard Stubbs to head the new equities team.

Stubbs is no relation to Tower head of investment Sam Stubbs.

For now the new team is bunking in with Tower's call centre staff in its central Auckland head office but the call centre is expected to shift to the suburbs in time.


Given the entire equities team has left Tower it could lead to another boutique fund manager being set up in the capital.

There aren't many fund managers in hiring mode in Wellington and a lot of firms are now Auckland-based so it would be a logical step.

But it might not happen any time soon if the team has any kind of restraint of trade agreement placed on them.


There has long been speculation about whether Tower chief executive Rob Flannagan will move on soon to make way for new blood.

But Flannagan says although he is on a year-by-year contract he plans to be around for a while longer and feels he has unfinished business at the firm.

The insurance and investment company has spent the past few years trimming costs but has now set out on a growth strategy to try to grow organically through opening new branches and cross-selling its products to existing customers.

"There is unfinished business there. We are trying to put Tower back to where it was a few years ago when it was an iconic company. To get that connection. Then probably the job is done for me," Flannagan said.

Tower shares closed down 1c to $1.95 yesterday.


Investors have bailed out of Wellington Drive Technologies in droves this week after it revealed plans for another capital raising.

More than $88,000 of shares traded on Tuesday - the day of the announcement - followed by a further $60,000 plus on Wednesday.

Market sources were surprised by the huge discount price of the rights - just 1.25c compared to the 7.5c they were trading at before it was announced - and the lack of an underwriter on the issue.

The company hit an all-time low of 2.5c on the news but has since recovered some ground. Yesterday it closed down 0.2c at 3.3c. It hopes to raise $8.4 million this time around. In September, around $7.7 million was raised through a share purchase plan and institutional placement.


Fletcher Building has been recognised by the Australasian Investor Relations Association as having the best investor relations by a New Zealand company.

Fletcher beat Telecom and Contact Energy for the top spot at the annual awards. New Zealand Oil & Gas also received a second place award but curiously got its gong in a category labelled "the ASX award for Best Investor Relations by an Australian company outside the ASX 200".