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MFS extends options to buy NZ assets

NZX-listed MFS New Zealand has extended its option to buy local assets still owned directly by the Australian company, including the financial advisory group Vestar and finance company MFS Boston.

Wednesday, January 9th 2008, 5:19AM

by David Chaplin

The option to purchase these assets was due to expire on December 31, 2007, but has now been pushed out to September 30, 2008.

Jason Maywald, head of MFS NZ, said the "market timing was not right" to exercise the option although the businesses covered by the offer remained a good strategic fit for the firm.

"Those businesses have undergone a significant restructure and reorganisation since being acquired, and part of our motivation in seeking this extension is that we wanted to see them produce a full year of results," Maywald said.

According to the MFS 2006/7 annual report, Vestar has been valued at approximately A$81 million. MFS paid almost A$50 million in December 2006 for the Northplan group and subsequently added Swain Investment Services, Colin Strang Financial Planning, Westplan Financial Services, GTF Group and Best Securities to the group which was then rebranded as Vestar.

MFS holds a 38% share of MFS NZ.

MFS reassures debenture holders
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Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
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