COMMENT:

John Hawkins, who stepped down as chairman of the New Zealand Shareholders' Association (NZSA) last week, departed with a final plea on behalf of members.

On April 30, his last day as a stellar NZSA chair, he severely criticised Ebos for its $175 million placement to institutional shareholders.

Hawkins was quoted as saying: "the issue which was discounted 8 per cent below the market price was a free gift to a few privileged larger organisations at the expense of many smaller investors".

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Ebos raised the new capital to repay debt but Hawkins argued: "They could have done an accelerated