Norish placing approved despite Teeling objections
Over 80pc of the votes were cast in favour of the plan, writes Gavin McLoughlin
Shareholders in Irish-founded cold storage company Norish have approved a £5.1m share placing by the company despite objections from veteran investor John Teeling.
Over 80pc of votes cast were in favour of the placing, the proceeds of which, among other things, will be used to build out cold storage capacity and pursue a number of Irish dairy investments.
Teeling confirmed to the Sunday Independent that he had opposed the resolution but did not comment further. An Irish Times report last month said he had written to fellow shareholders saying it would be better to raise debt, and that the placing would dilute their holdings.
Norish chairman Ted O'Neill had said that the placing would "allow Norish to pursue its new primary agri investment strategy as well as investing in its existing cold storage and commodity trading operations.
"The funds raised together with the appointment of the group's new managing director designate, Kieran Mahon, means Norish is well placed to capitalise on its plans and objectives for the future," he added. Mr O'Neill's shareholding in the company has dipped from 16.72pc to 10.23pc after the transaction, according to a document filed to the London Stock Exchange.
"Within the cold storage division Norish is looking to further develop the group's multi-temperature facilities, through increasing cold store capacity on existing sites, investing in additional blast freezer capacity at Wrexham, in addition to pursuing other efficiency projects with short payback periods," AIM-listed Norish, which has a market capitalisation of £7.74m, told shareholders in advance of the meeting.
"In light of an encouraging performance in the commodity trading division, Norish are also exploring opportunities to scale up the division through acquisition and investment in additional traders. An acquisition target has been identified which is complimentary to the existing trading business.
"The balance of the net proceeds of the Placing will be used to invest in a combination of dairy opportunities in Ireland and Missouri and/or other agricultural investments in the early part of the agricultural value chain."
Teeling and his family were ranked 281st on the Sunday Independent's 2015 rich list, with a fortune of €35m. He founded Cooley Distillery, which was sold to the company behind Jim Beam and Courvoisier in a €71m deal in 2011.
He's also been active in mineral resource exploration through vehicles like Connemara Mining and Botswana Diamonds.
Norish shareholders also approved a new long-term incentive plan for the company's management, including incoming managing director Kieran Mahon, who replaces Norman Hatcliff at the end of the year. Hatcliff is retiring after 15 years with Norish.
Mahon is a former equity analyst with Davy. O'Neill said he would bring a "fresh impetus" to the company.
Sunday Indo Business