Agria ex­ec­u­tives leave abruptly

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

PGG Wright­son says the sud­den de­par­ture of two key ex­ec­u­tives of its con­trol­ling share­holder, Agria Cor­po­ra­tion, should not af­fect it.

Manag­ing di­rec­tor Ge­orge Gould said the com­pany could not com­ment on Agria and its re­cruit­ment or the re­verse.

‘‘But we are not aware that there is any­thing un­to­ward in what has hap­pened; it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily af­fect PGW,’’ Mr Gould said.

Agria is a small en­tre­pre­neur­ial Chi­nese in­vestor that launched an au­da­cious par­tial takeover bid for one of New Zealand’s lead­ing agri­cul­tural ser­vices com­pa­nies, PGW, late in 2010 and com­pleted the par­tial takeover in April last year.

Agria chief ex­ec­u­tive Xie Tao and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer John Lay­burn sub­mit­ted their res­ig­na­tions last Tues­day and left on Wed­nes­day.

Mr Xie had been in the job since Septem­ber 2009 and Mr Lay­burn had been act­ing chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer from April last year and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer since Septem­ber last year.

Both had worked for Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers in China be­fore join­ing Agria.

‘‘I can’t re­ally give an in­sight into what is go­ing on at Agria but I can say we don’t be­lieve that will nec­es­sar­ily im­pact on us neg­a­tively at all,’’ Mr Gould said.

PGW is Agria’s big­gest in­vest­ment and it has a small seeds busi­ness in China as well.

Mr Xie, a PGW di­rec­tor, is not seek­ing re-elec­tion to PGW’s board at the an­nual meet­ing in Novem­ber.

Agria chair­man Alan Lai is a driv­ing force be­hind Agria and is seek­ing re­elec­tion to the board of PGW.

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