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N.Z. Future Forest Products Outlines Expansion Plans


N.Z. Future Forest Products Ltd (NZFFP) has today made a series of announcements about its future expansion plans.

The company, which is focused on making sustainable New Zealand finished wood products one of the core export pillars of the New Zealand economy, was established by 35-year-old New Zealander David Henry upon his return to the country after 15 years working in Australia and the United Kingdom in the natural-resources investment management sector.

David Henry’s family has been involved with the New Zealand forestry industry for more than 150 years, dating back to 1860.

As trees planted during the timberlands boom of the 1990s are harvested, NZFFP’s mission is to maximise their value to New Zealand by investing in value-added processing and technology to upskill workforces, improve productivity, and manufacture higher-value sustainable consumer products for growing export markets.

This includes manufacturing modular residential apartment buildings that are then flat-packed and containerised for both the export and domestic markets, improving export earnings for New Zealand and accelerating construction of new, cost-effective houses in New Zealand respectively.

NZFFP’s strategy is based on the acquisition of existing New Zealand wood processing businesses to develop the critical mass necessary to realise its vision for the industry and New Zealand. Its flagship project will be its greenfield engineered timber processing plant, which will be the only plant of its type in the Southern Hemisphere once constructed.

To that end, it is pleased to announce today it has completed its strategic transaction with North Sawn Lumber Ltd, which has production plants at Ruakaka and Tauranga. North Sawn has a highly regarded operations management team, produces high-quality finished products for the construction industry, has high Health and Safety standards and its sites are in close proximity to the deepwater Northport operation at Marsden Point and Port of Tauranga respectively.

NZFFP remains in the process of purchasing Claymark Group Holdings Ltd, which employs 600 people across six manufacturing sites in the Upper North Island.

A third acquisition is already in progress, for announcement in due course, and further acquisitions are still being contemplated by the company.

NZFFP plans to increase the production, productivity and workforces of the companies it is acquiring.

NZFFP is entirely financed by private equity, with initial capital coming from David Henry’s Kinleith Continuation LP. Additional capital is currently being committed, to be drawn as its acquisitions are completed, and will be announced in due course. NZFFP will always be majority New Zealand-owned, with a policy of capping any non-New Zealand investment to no more than a total of 24.9% in compliance with the Overseas Investment Act.

The company made an application to New Zealand’s Provincial Growth Fund for a $15 million loan to complete a feasibility study that would make Gisborne the centre of its greenfield engineered timber operations, but was informed by the Provincial Development Unit last week that this application has been turned down. Despite reports that it planned to seek a $95 million planting subsidy from New Zealand’s One Billion Tree programme, no such application has been made. The company has no further plans to apply for financial support from the New Zealand Government.

The company’s board currently consists of David Henry (Managing Director); Auckland barrister Brian Henry; former South Australian state premier, diplomat and UK businessman Michael Rann; Auckland businesswoman Jan Trotman; and US-based New Zealand business leader and former GHW Bush, Clinton Administration official Peter S Watson. Following the acquisition of North Sawn, Garth Mortensen and Grant Syminton will soon join as directors.

NZFPP is aware that two of its directors have personal links to the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister. NZFFP maintains high standards of corporate governance beyond that required of a private New Zealand company. Given recent publicity, the NZFFP board has decided it is in the best interests of the company for it to maintain a higher degree of transparency than is required of it as a private New Zealand company. This will be done through the company’s LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/nzffp1/ and also through regular media updates such as this announcement.

Commenting on today’s announcements, Managing Director David Henry said:

“Throughout the world and in New Zealand, wood is the preferred construction material of the future. No country in the world grows faster, better or more sustainable wood than New Zealand. We are a key solution to the low carbon future that NZFFP envisages for the world.”

“Right now and in the years ahead, there is a wall of New Zealand wood becoming available for processing thanks to the timberlands boom of the 1990s. At the same time, global customers, consumers and regulators are looking for a construction solution that stores carbon, such as wood, rather than emitting it, such as concrete and steel.

“Our vision is for New Zealand to truly maximise the return from this unique combination of opportunities, rather than seeing our country merely ship off low-value raw logs offshore. We plan to grow export earnings and jobs in our industry, particularly in New Zealand’s regions.

“We are proud of what we are doing and we look forward to keeping our investors, our stakeholders and the New Zealand public updated on our future progress.”

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