The Chairman of Wool Equities, Richard Bentley, announced on 9th August 2006 that the Company had sold its fifty per cent shareholding of New Zealand Wool Testing Authority Ltd (NZWTA) to the Australian Wool Testing Authority Ltd (AWTA), giving AWTA 100 per cent ownership of NZWTA.
“The sale is unconditional, at a sale price of NZD2.5 million and becomes effective on 1 st September, 2006” Mr Bentley said.
“This is a very pleasing outcome for Wool Equities and allows us to focus on developing the significant opportunities continuing to emerge from our key investment in Keratec”, he said .
Commenting on the purchase the Managing Director of AWTA Ltd, Mr Michael Jackson said:
“In 2004 when AWTA initially became a joint partner in NZWTA with Wool Equities it did so because there are clear synergies between AWTA's operations in Australia and NZWTA's in New Zealand . Both companies share similar objectives and structures and have always shared a strategic partnership in new technology development and in the maintenance of technical excellence in wool testing via their participation in the Independent Laboratories Round Trials Group (ILRT). When Wool Equities decided to divest itself of its investment in NZWTA the AWTA Board decided it would be in the best interests of Australian and NZ Wool Growers to ensure that the independence of NZWTA is maintained.”
“NZWTA will continue to be managed as a separate New Zealand Company, focussing its attention on the requirements of the local industry. However, the new arrangements will enable NZWTA to even more rapidly deploy new technology developed by AWTA and, to the benefit of the NZ industry, take advantage of the productivity improvements this will provide.”
“Australian wool growers will also benefit from this investment because it will enable AWTA to reduce the unit costs of any new technology. In the longer term there are obvious advantages to both companies in reducing other operating overheads.”
Maintaining NZWTA Ltd as a separate New Zealand Company means that the status of the Company within the ILRT Group will also remain unchanged.