Trucking operator TIL Logistics has halted trading of its shares while two major shareholders sell down more than 14.5 percent of the company’s stock.

Bowker Holdings and Kern Group intend to sell up to 12 million shares in the New Plymouth-based trucking and logistics firm. They currently own just over 88 percent of the company.

Trading in TIL shares will be halted until a bookbuild managed by Woodward Partners is completed, or Wednesday morning at the latest, TIL said in a note through NZX. The bookbuild is not underwritten.

TIL has more than 900 trucks and operates depots and warehouses in 60 locations. Its Pacific fuel business is one of the country’s largest tanker fleets, while its general freight business includes major brands like TNL, Hooker Pacific and Roadstar.

The firm listed on NZX last year as a means to fund its expansion and to provide a mechanism to allow its major investors to exit over time.

Kern Group owns 6.8 percent of TIL. Managing director Greg Kern is a TIL director.

Bowker owns 81.4 percent of the company and is controlled by the owners of the Hooker Brothers transport group, including TIL managing director Jim Ramsay, chief financial officer Greg Whitham and marketing general manager Alan Terris.

Last week TIL said it will pay $19 million in cash and shares to acquire Specialised Lifting and Transport Group to increase its capacity to move large loads and better compete with Australian rivals. As part of that deal TIL is issuing $4 million of shares at $1.50 – the same price it issued new stock at during its October listing.

The shares closed at $1.66 on Friday, down 17 percent so far this year.

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