Hawkes Bay meat company Richmond Meats yesterday [Thursday] secured an injunction from the High Court in an attempt to prevent the southern cooperative PPCS from acquiring it.

The injunction prevents PPCS “taking any steps to sell, buy, or transfer interests in Richmond shares” and has been imposed to give the High Court time to hear separate proceedings filed in April by Richmond and by a group of Richmond shareholders without the status quo changing. Proceedings will be held in Christchurch on 6 August.

The merger, which would combine two of New Zealand’s three largest meat companies, has been hotly opposed. PPC already holds a 16% stake in Richmond, and is seeking to buy out another institutional shareholder, Hawkes Bay Meats.