Monday, April 22, 2024

Growers urged to register ahead of wool merger vote

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Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative (PWC) are calling on farmers to tune into the final push to promote the proposed operations merger of the two major wool entities.
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STRONGER: PWC chair Richard Young says execution of the strategy relies on WNZ and CP Wool joining forces to enable the creation of a stronger global business with increased scale and horsepower.

Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative (PWC) are calling on farmers to tune into the final push to promote the proposed operations merger of the two major wool entities.

Wool growing as a business has been tough going in recent times but come November that could all change.

Shareholders of both entities are encouraged to register for a series of online meetings ahead of a vote on the proposed merger of operations between WNZ and PWC-owned CP Wool.

Under the proposed merger the grower-owned export and marketing company WNZ and PWC will remain the shareholding vehicles while a new entity will jointly own the combined trading business of WNZ and CP Wool.

WNZ and CP Wool directors and staff will discuss the proposal and what it means for farmers at three online meetings before the PWC annual meeting on November 4 and a WNZ special meeting on November 5.

The online meetings will conclude a series of communications with growers over the past year about the strategy and process to merge the operations of both wool companies.

Voting papers will be sent out to shareholders in the coming days.

WNZ chair James Parsons says it makes absolute sense to merge the operations.

“Growers have been asking for consolidation and now they will get the chance to have their say,” Parsons said.

“Together WNZ and CP Wool can deliver the market vision and supply scale required to make a real difference.

“This merger will give us greater presence in the market and seamless service and logistics to the farm gate.”

It will also act as a launchpad for NZ to better realise the full potential of wool.

“To date, we have communicated the strategy and why we believe this is a good idea, but these voter meetings will share the details around the deal structure,” he said.

“It is really important (for) grower shareholders (to) sign-up for a meeting so they can make an informed vote.”

PWC chair Richard Young urges farmers to register for a meeting.

Young is also chair of CP Wool, which is now 100% owned by PWC that in the proposed merger will combine with WNZ to become one trading entity under the brand Wools of New Zealand.

“It is vital farmers are fully informed ahead of the vote,” Young said. 

“This merger needs to happen because it will give us the financial strength that can be deployed to deliver business growth and demand-creation activities for woollen consumer products, setting us up for success.

Young says the merger will mark the start of an exciting new chapter for the wool sector.

“This is structural change that will act as a launchpad for NZ to truly realise the full potential of wool,” he said.

“There’s been too much fragmentation for too long, woolgrowers have been in the doldrums for long enough, we need to reimagine what the future can be and strategise the pathway to get there.”

The successful execution of the strategy relies on WNZ and CP Wool joining forces to enable the creation of a stronger global business with increased scale and horsepower.

“Ultimately, this merger aims to improve returns for our growers and increase the value of the business and shareholders’ investment,” he said.

“Our strength apart has been good but together we can change the game.”

Formed by a group of farmers in Hawke’s Bay in 1974, the Primary Wool Co-operative has grown to 1400 shareholders spread right across NZ.

Wools of NZ is a 100% NZ grower-owned supply, sales and export marketing company with 730 grower shareholders representing 14.5 million kilograms of annual strong wool production.

The first of the pre-vote series of online meetings is on October 28 with two further meetings scheduled on November 1 and November 3.

The PWC online annual meeting is November 4 and the WNZ special online meeting is November 5.

Attendees are required to register their interest for the online meetings via email to: danicia.nixon@woolsnz.com or by phone on 03 5952513.

For more information, visit https://www.woolsnz.com/growers or www.primarywool.co.nz 

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