Interests associated with Big Chill founder Colin Neal have bought 19.81% of NZX-listed Mercer Group from NBR Rich Lister Humphry Rolleston’s holding company. While the actual price isn’t known, at Thursday 5th March share price of 24.5c, Neal’s purchase of 13 million shares would be worth $3.2 million.
Mercer Group produces commercial stainless-steel equipment, sterilisation equipment and automated handling solutions.
Big Chill was bought by Freightways last year, with Neal taking in $56m from his 47.89% stake in the refrigerated transport company in an 80% down payment. Freightway’s final payment will be calculated as 20% of Big Chill’s enterprise value at June 2022. The 19.81% purchase sits just under the Takeover Code’s 20% threshold.
Rolleston is still Mercer’s largest shareholder, with his holding company, Asset Management, maintaining a 22.5% stake in the company, as well as owning 8.99% under his own name.
Humphry’s son George Rolleston sits on the Mercer board as a non-executive director.