Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative (PWC) shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a proposed merger of operations between WNZ and Primary Wool Co-operative-owned CP Wool (CPW).
More than 99.7 per cent of WNZ shareholders and 100 per cent of PWC shareholders who voted supported the merger, which will see both companies become partners in a new entity called Wools of New Zealand LP. The new organisation will combine the trading and operating businesses of WNZ and CPW.
“Growers have spoken and backed our vision to build one organisation with strength and scale to make a real difference to New Zealand’s struggling wool industry,” said James Parsons, chair of WNZ.
“We are very pleased with this positive result, which validates our strategy to consolidate the sector and better link the supply chain from the grower through to the consumer. By combining operations, we can provide the scale, focus and shared vision to achieve better outcomes for our growers.
“This merger represents the first serious grower-owned consolidation of the industry in many decades. By joining forces, we can deliver on our market vision and ultimately better realise the full potential of wool.
“We appreciate and value the support and engagement from shareholders over the past 12 months and look forward to announcing further initiatives in the coming months.”
Richard Young, chair of PWC and chair of CPW, which is 100 per cent owned by PWC, said the result lays the foundations to deliver improved fortunes for the wool sector.
“This single grower-owned entity will help drive our shift from wool as a raw commodity to grower-owned and branded consumer wool products. Ultimately, the development of an integrated supply chain aims to improve returns for our growers.
“It will enable us to capture greater value for wool growers through shortened supply chains and invest deeper in marketing and sales to deliver New Zealand-branded natural strong wool products that meet consumer demand.
“I want to thank growers for supporting the move. We now have the ability to chart our own destiny as growers and capture greater value. Farmers need two positive income streams from sheep. We must now focus on delivering these better outcomes that we believe this combined strategy will unlock.”
PWC held a Special General Meeting on 4th November and WNZ on 5th November. Over 53 per cent of WNZ’s share capital and 41.5 per cent of PWC’s share capital took part in the votes.
The WNZ and PWC boards expect to complete the transaction by 30th November 2021. The new entity will be called Wools of New Zealand LP and transact approximately one third of NZ’s wool clip as well as exporting WNZ-branded wool and carpet.