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Business As Usual For Formica (N.Z.) Limited

11 March 2002

Formica (N.Z.) Limited today moved to clarify its position in the Australasian market following news reports about the financial reorganisation of the New Jersey-based namesake.

Formica Corp USA, while continuing to trade, last week filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and said it will restructure its operations in the wake of continuing losses. For Formica (N.Z.) Limited, however, it is business as usual as the New Zealand operation severed its ties with the US corporation eight years ago. Today, Formica in Australasia is financially and operationally independent of the US corporation.

Formica (N.Z.) Limited is committed to the Australasian market and is this year investing considerable resource into revamping the Formica brand with the launch of upmarket new ranges and colours – giving a fashionable edge to form and function in the home and office.

Neil Jones, Formica (N.Z.) Limited general manager, says any relationship with the US operation is well in the past. “We may have shared the name ‘Formica’ with the US corporation but that’s all. Formica (N.Z.) Limited is a totally separate company with separate management and organisational structures,” Jones says. “It is just unfortunate that having the same name as the US corporation means some people have drawn the wrong conclusion and assumed Formica in New Zealand is on the way out. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The history of Formica began in 1913 with Formica Corp USA. In November 1959, Formica Corp USA established a New Zealand entity. However, in 1988, the US corporation sold Formica (N.Z.) Limited to CSR Australia. In December 1994, CSR purchased the Formica brand outright from Formica Corp USA for use in Australasia.

In 1999, Laminex Australia became the parent company of Formica (N.Z.) Limited, acquiring both the assets and brand name from CSR. Laminex now manufactures and distributes a range of decorative surfaces products throughout Australia and New Zealand, including Formica, Laminex, Aquapanel, Formex, Alupanel and Premium Laminates.


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