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New Managing Director Appointed to Vertex

NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR APPOINTED TO VERTEX


News Release: 31May 2005

Mark Wheeler has been appointed the new managing director of Vertex Group Holdings Limited as of today following the successful takeover by Masthead Equities Limited.

Mr. Wheeler will also retain his position of managing director of Alto Plastics, a company in which he owns a 36.5% shareholding in. Masthead holds 51.4% of Alto with the balance being held by senior executives.

Masthead’s Mark Stewart said that Mark Wheeler had all the right credentials to take on this key role at Vertex.

“He has more than 10 years experience in the plastics industry, five of which has been driving the performance of Alto, as it is now known, to being a leading industrial and consumer products company. He has a reputation in the industry for turning Alto into a world class manufacturing operation with strong growth and for delivering valuing added solutions to customers.

“Mark certainly has our confidence and has a track record of success. We [the Stewart family] in fact head-hunted Mark in 1999 to run PDL Plastics, which at the time was one of NZ’s largest rigid plastics companies. Mark was subsequently involved in the management buyout of PDL Plastics in October 2000 when he formed Alto Plastics. In 2003 we partnered again with him, taking a shareholding in Alto Plastics with a clear strategy to significantly grow the company.”

Mr Stewart said he would be assisting Mr. Wheeler in reviewing Vertex’s operations, now that the takeover was completed.

“As managing director of both companies Mark is well placed to assess the potential for merging both companies. Joining both companies will create one of the largest plastics companies in NZ. This in itself will create some exciting opportunities.”

Mr Wheeler said that he was excited by the prospects of both companies. “As is the case in any situation of change there will be a lot of uncertainty out there. My first task will be to go out and visit staff, suppliers and customers and brief them on our vision for these two companies.

“Having run Alto for a number of years now I have always had an obvious interest in Vertex. On the surface I believe that the two companies will fit together very well as there is very little cross-over in our respective target markets. However, we will now be in a position to offer our customers a much wider range of products and services than ever before.

“I certainly look forward to the opportunities that will inevitably flow from bringing together Alto and Vertex. Growing the business will be a key focus of mine and we certainly see many expansion opportunities.”

ENDS


PERSONAL PROFILE:

Mark J. Wheeler


Mark is 38 years old, married to Angela, and has 4 children. Mark lives on a lifestyle block south of Auckland and enjoys the peace and tranquility of rural life as a counter to the industrial plastics manufacturing business – Alto Plastics Ltd - where he is Managing Director.

Mark initially trained in civil engineering and worked in a consultancy practice, then moved on to Humes as a Sales Engineer, and progressed through to management and held senior commercial and marketing positions for the NZ group.

In 1994, at the age of 26, Mark was appointed as General Manager of Milnes NZ Ltd. At the time Milnes was a small import distribution business. During his four years at Milnes (latterly named Keyplas) he undertook a green fields plastic pipe manufacturing business and grew the company from a turnover of $2m to $20m, gained 20% of the NZ plastic pipe market.

PDL head hunted Mark in 1999 to run one of NZ’s largest rigid plastics companies – PDL Plastics. In 2000 Mark led the successful management buy-out of PDL Plastics in conjunction with ANZ PE. The company was renamed Alto Plastics after the acquisition and Mark held the position of CEO and Managing Director.

In March 2004, Mark appointed a General Manager and relinquished the CEO role in order to focus on more strategic opportunities.

In April 2004 Mark Wheeler negotiated to buy ANZPE out of their shareholding in Alto. At this time the Stewart family (ex PDL) took up a shareholding in Alto Plastics, with Mark Stewart coming onto the Board as a Director. It was agreed between the two Marks to embark on a significant growth strategy for the business.

Mark Wheeler is one of the two major shareholders in Alto Plastics.

Started work as Civil Engineer
Sales Engineer at Humes
First management position – Commercial Manager at Humes
Marketing Manager at Humes
General Manager of Milnes NZ Ltd – trading as Keyplas. Greenfields establishment of plastic pipe manufacturing plant in South Auckland. Gained 20% of NZ market share in 4 years.

Head hunted by PDL to run NZ’s largest rigid plastics company – PDL Plastics.

Acquired PDL business in Management buy-out with ANZPE. Acted as Managing Director and CEO.

2004 Mark appointed a General Manager in Alto Plastics and he relinquished the CEO role to focus on strategic opportunities as Managing Director.

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