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Fencepost And RD1 To Merge


Monday 19 November 2001 For Immediate Release


Fencepost And RD1 To Merge

Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd has announced that Fencepost and RD1, two subsidiary companies best known for their websites and rural supply stores, are to merge to form a new company with the working name Rural Supply Company.

The new company will incorporate RD1’s 27 AnchorMart stores, Fencepost’s 21 Town and Country Stores and both companies’ call centres and on-line merchandising services. It will be part of Fonterra Enterprises, whose Managing Director is Alexander Töldte, also Fonterra’s Chief Development Officer.

The Managing Director of Rural Supply Company will be Reid Farmers CEO Brian Bilas, who will start on 26 November and report to Mr Töldte.

“We’ll be looking to Brian and his team to drive profitable growth and aim for Rural Supply Company to become New Zealand’s leading rural merchandising business,” Mr Töldte said. “Brian has an excellent record in creating shareholder value at Reid Farmers and we expect him to develop and deliver a strategy to maximise Fonterra shareholder wealth from the new company.”

A separate issue for Fonterra is delivering web-based information to shareholders, and on-line tools and services aimed at helping farmers achieve productivity gains. At present, these services are delivered to former Kiwi suppliers through www.fencepost.com and to former Dairy Group suppliers through www.nzdairy.co.nz

Mr Töldte said Mr Bilas and Ray Parker, Fonterra’s Shareholder Services General Manager, would work together to develop the most effective and low-cost way to bring these services under one umbrella.

“Fonterra shareholders need the best possible web-based services to assist with on-farm productivity gains,” Mr Töldte said. “Ray also has an excellent record of creating shareholder wealth through his time as CEO of Tasman Agriculture.”

Shareholders will continue to get online information from www.fencepost.com or www.nzdairy.co.nz until new arrangements for web-based information services are put in place.

END

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