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Bank Funding For CNIFP Purchase Confirmed

Auckland, 15 July 2002 – Fletcher Challenge Forests today confirmed that it had secured commitments for a new loan facility of US$600 million to fund the purchase of the assets of the Central North Island Forest Partnership (CNIFP). The purchase transaction is subject to shareholder approvals and other conditions, as previously advised.

The new four-year facility has been arranged by the Bank of New Zealand and HSBC, with participation by National Bank of New Zealand, ANZ, Rabobank, Citibank, Westpac and Credit Suisse. It will replace the Company’s existing facilities as well as provide the debt funding required for the purchase.

The new facility offers greater flexibility than the Company’s existing arrangements, at lower cost.

Terry McFadgen, Chief Executive of Fletcher Challenge Forests, said “We are delighted at the widespread support given to this new debt facility. The participation of so many of the region’s leading banks confirms the quality of this asset.”

He noted that a Special Meeting of Shareholders had been called for Tuesday 13 August 2002, to consider the CNIFP transaction.

The Notice of Meeting and Explanatory Memorandum will be mailed to shareholders early next week, accompanied by a report from Grant Samuel & Associates Limited as Independent Reporter.


Ends

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