Munro-Keene brings Malaysian investors in to take control of IRG

Published 25 March 2011

Investment Research Group Ltd said yesterday it had entered into a conditional agreement to place 51% of its shares with GA Sego Ltd, a New Zealand-registered joint-venture company owned by Tim Munro-Keene & the Bugo family interests from Malaysia. The subscription price is 1c/share, payable in cash – last sale was at 1.2c/share – and the shares are to be issued subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, but no later than Friday 29 April. The obligations of GA Sego are guaranteed by shareholders & directors Tan Sri Hamid “Tommy” Bugo of Kuching, Sarawak, & Mr Munro-Keene, Parnell. The agreement is conditional on:

due diligence (to be undertaken during the 6 days starting on the date after the agreement is signed, and if the due diligence discloses any material adverse information not in the public domain there’s to be an appropriate adjustment to the subscription priceapproval of IRG’s bankapproval of IRG’s shareholders in accordance with the Takeovers Code, andno material change relating to IRG arising between signing & the subscription date.

All the conditions apart from the due diligence condition are to be satisfied by Thursday 28 April.

IRG managing director Brent King said yesterday: “This is not expected to change the New Zealand businesses. IRG has offices in both Auckland & Tauranga, is a financial advisor & sharebroker and is the owner & publisher of the NZ Investor and NZ Yearbook.”

Tan Sri Hamid Bugo, 65, has an MA majoring in economics from Canterbury University, a PhD in commerce from Lincoln University and post-graduate qualifications from Harvard Institute of Development Studies in the US. He was state secretary of Sarawak from 1992-2000, is a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission advisory committee and is a director of Sapura Crest Petroleum Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd & Zecon Bhd.

A release from GA Group on Monday indicated its joint venture with Sego would “reveal further joint & special purpose enterprise ventures” in the next few weeks.

For the past decade, Mr Munro-Keene was group chief executive for a China-focused non-bank financial institution – the AFG Trust boutique private banking group, headed by him & Bin Lu – and as a director was responsible for all strategic, regulatory, governance & marketing functions of the firm.

Mr Munro-Keene said last week GA Group would enter an expansion phase by setting up an Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur as a focal point for investment, capital growth and the continual development of diversified private equity portfolios.

"We remain committed to New Zealand’s standing as a world-class financial centre. Now, GA Group can lead the way in the development of some of the world’s most dynamic financial products throughout the Asia-Pacific region."


Earlier stories:

23 March 2011: IRG fined for listing breach

24 December 2010: IRG sells investment report business back to McEwen

15 September 2010: Latest count turns King’s IRG from profit to loss

22 June 2010: IRG shares suspended

12 August 2008: Viking becomes Investment Research Group

15 June 2008: Viking makes $15 million loss

17 May 2008: Viking secures Dorchester advisory businesses – and King pings old firm for poor deal


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Attribution: IRG release, GA Group releases, Bugo profiles, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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