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Lion Nathan could lose Montana

Published:  23 July, 2008

NZSE quizzed about sale

After gaining control of Montana last month, Lion Nathan could now lose control of Montana if a complaint to the New Zealand stock exchange is upheld. Allied Domecq, which lost out to Lion Nathan in the bidding for the Montana Group last month, backed by Montana, has made allegations that Lion's key share purchases were in breach of New Zealand stock exchange listing rules. The dispute surrounds the timing of Lion's purchase of the shares. Allied claimed that Lion bought the shares at a time when it was not permitted to do so. Lion responded by asserting that all its buying was undertaken outside that period. After investigating Allied's complaint, Montana asked the New Zealand Stock Exchange market surveillance panel to investigate a possible breach. If this is found to be the case, Lion would be declared a default shareholder, the disputed shares could be forcibly sold and Lion would consequently lose its controlling influence in Montana. The New Zealand Stock Exchange's market surveillance panel has now appointed the committee which is to investigate the matter.