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Karen Walker & Grant Dalton join 42 BELOW Board

For Immediate Release – September 17, 2003

Karen Walker & Grant Dalton join 42 BELOW board of directors

Premium spirit maker 42 BELOW has appointed to its board of directors two Kiwis with a solid track record of competing and winning on a global stage.

Leading fashion designer and exporter, Karen Walker, has accepted an invitation to join the company’s board, along with round-the-world sailing campaigner and Team New Zealand head Grant Dalton.

42 BELOW’s Chief Vodka Bloke and managing director Geoff Ross said the appointments were part of an expansion and strengthening of the company’s board through the appointment of two new independent directors.

“We’re delighted that Karen and Grant have accepted invitations to join the board,” he said.

Mr Ross said that both Karen and Grant brought business expertise and an understanding of what it takes to beat the best in the world. The fashion and sporting dimensions were valuable and complementary.

“We’re a company very focused on international networks to support our business growth and Karen and Grant deepen our global networks, market knowledge and experience.”

“We see a great deal of synergies between Karen’s success at taking her fashion brands into international markets and our export drive at 42 BELOW.

“Karen understands how to establish brands internationally from a New Zealand base. She understands the key metropolitan markets where a young urban population is very design and style lead. These are features common to both our businesses.”

Mr Ross said that creativity and originality were key to both the success of Karen Walker and 42 BELOW.

“We are both up against big well resourced multi-national companies, but with creativity and clever thinking we gain a commercial advantage. Our brands are both at the super premium end of the market, and we both have an irreverent and surprising side to our brands.”

Karen Walker said she was delighted to accept 42 BELOW’s invitation to serve on its board. “I see advantages to both businesses in sharing design and creative ideas as well as strategies to help New Zealand brands succeed globally. We’re like-minded, passionate New Zealanders building New Zealand brands on a global scale – brands based on creativity.''

Mr Ross said that Mr Dalton’s knowledge of campaigning and building successful enterprises and projects was very valuable.

“Pushing into a new market is not unlike a focused, sporting campaign,” he said. “Grant’s knowledge of how to build successful teams, run effective enterprises and achieve focused results is a wonderful asset to the business.”

Mr Dalton said he welcomed an opportunity to share his experience of international business with a company that was proudly Kiwi and that had a great product proposition in our major export markets.

42 Below vodka has been judged number two in the world at international tastings, and in the past year has claimed 7% of the New Zealand vodka market by value. Its expansion this year into North America, Australia and the UK has met with a positive response.

Expansion is being driven by the quality of its products, its focus on premium markets, and the expertise of its branding. The company’s sales model, using Kiwi ‘ambassadors’ to market its premium vodka and gin alongside traditional distributors, is proving successful.


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