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Carter Holt Harvey Sells Paper Distribution

Carter Holt Harvey Sells Paper Distribution Businesses

Carter Holt Harvey announced today the sale of its paper distribution businesses, Raleigh Paper in Australia and BJ Ball Papers in New Zealand, to Edwards Dunlop for A$61m (NZ$74m). The sale is conditional on finance and is expected to be effective 30 April 2002.

Chris Liddell, CEO for Carter Holt Harvey, said the sale reflects the company’s ongoing focus on refining its portfolio of businesses.

“Both Raleigh Paper and BJ Ball Papers have been consistent contributors to Carter Holt Harvey’s profitability over recent years. However we also take into account our ability to develop a leadership position and create growth opportunities.

“At a time of ongoing industry rationalisation, we determined that the potential of the businesses could best be realised by joining with a specialist company in the paper market such as Edwards Dunlop, who are the largest independent paper merchant in Australasia” said Mr Liddell.

The combination of the Edwards Dunlop and Raleigh Paper/BJ Ball Papers businesses creates a clear number two competitor to Paperlinx in the Australasian market, with a 20-25% share of both the Australian and New Zealand paper distribution markets.

Raleigh Paper and BJ Ball Papers operate primarily as wholesale paper merchants, buying paper from a variety of suppliers and selling and promoting it to printers, designers, stationery and form converters, label producers and retail and office supply distributors. Raleigh Paper operates from warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and BJ Ball Papers from warehouses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The acquired businesses will continue to operate as Raleigh Paper and BJ Ball Papers.

The businesses have a combined book value of A$52m (NZ$63m) and annual turnover of A$130m (NZ$157m). They employ 160 people.

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