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AgriQuality New Zealand purchases ESR Lab

4 February 2000

For immediate release

AgriQuality New Zealand purchases ESR’s Environmental Laboratory

State-owned enterprise AgriQuality New Zealand has purchased ESR’s Environmental Analytical Laboratory, AgriQuality’s Chair Sue Suckling announced today.

Ms Suckling said the purchase was significant because it meant highly specialised scientific skills were retained in the public sector. The purchase represented an important milestone for AgriQuality, she said.

“Purchasing the Environmental Laboratory reinforces AgriQuality’s position as New Zealand’s leading supplier of independent testing, analysis and verification services. The Environmental Laboratory’s unique and sought-after capabilities in environmental analysis are the perfect complement to our existing range of analytical businesses.”

The Laboratory, which has been renamed AgriQuality Environmental, is one of New Zealand’s leading environmental science providers and employs over 40 highly skilled staff. It is located at the Gracefield Research Centre in Lower Hutt.

John Morgan, AgriQuality’s CEO, said he was delighted with the unique skill-set the Laboratory brought to the Australasian market. AgriQuality Environmental is Australasia’s leading commercial dioxin analysis laboratory and operates UltraTrace, a highly specialised business that tests for very low levels of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins in water, air, land, food and industrial products.

In addition to UltraTrace, the purchase includes Aqua Biotox, whose work includes testing shellfish for the presence of toxins (a complement to AgriQuality’s existing business in this area). The business also tests a wide variety of environmental samples to determine the source of pollutants.

AgriQuality won the bid to purchase over seven other contenders. Central to its success was the company’s ability to retain the Laboratory’s capability in New Zealand and its staff and structure, the compatibility of its business with AgriQuality’s core business and the company’s credible reputation as an SOE.

Mr Morgan said the purchase significantly enhances AgriQuality’s expertise in the field of environmental testing, providing AgriQuality with the critical mass to consolidate the company’s commitment to the Wellington region.

Mr Morgan said he recognises and values the specialist skills and talents that the new staff bring to AgriQuality.

The Environmental Laboratory began trading as AgriQuality Environmental this week.

ENDS

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