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Primary Wool Co-Operative Merger with Wools of New Zealand

Advice to shareholders of merger with Wools of New Zealand

Your cooperative is excited to announce that Primary Wool Co-Operative and Wools of New Zealand will be combining our two businesses under the umbrella of Wools of New Zealand.

A first step and a vital step

Your cooperative believes that a merged entity is the best opportunity for its shareholders and the wider CP Wool supplier base to start the process of re-establishing our natural fibre at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Consumer awareness of the natural and sustainable qualities of wool is growing rapidly with the movement toward a more sustainable world. To sit by as participants in an existing model that fails to deliver for growers is not an option. This initiative can shift the dial and deliver better outcomes not only for growers but all stakeholders in the value chain. For wool to truly recapture its market leading position as the natural fibre of choice, all participants in the value chain must be profitable and able to re- invest.

A compelling opportunity

As shareholders of Primary Wool Co-Operative, you will be able to positively influence our sector, and your endorsement will enable the opportunity in front of us to come to life. We believe the opportunity is compelling. It will not be easy and it will take time, but your support will give our sector a chance to regain some of its past glory. Bay de Lautour, a Director of Primary Wool Co-Operative for 47 years, is excited by the opportunity saying “I have been involved for a long while now, through the good and the bad, but latterly things have been dire. Combining the two grower organisations provides the opportunity to both rescue and grow our strong wool sector”.

Hearing the call for integration

Growers have been clear in their messages that the fragmentation in the industry is detracting from what can be achieved. This initiative will bring two strong wool grower owned entities together in a game changing initiative with the aim of delivering better outcomes for growers.

Speeding up the process

The opportunity to combine the two grower entities under the internationally recognised Wools of New Zealand brand will enable the market led strategy of Wools of New Zealand to come to life at a quicker pace, while delivering the same or enhanced level of service to our grower clients at the farm gate. Furthermore, putting the combined Wools of New Zealand and Primary Wool Co-Operative wool clips through CP Wool’s logistics and handling business presents the opportunity for all to share in the benefits of greater critical mass and scale.

Repairing a broken model

Linking growers to consumers through a more integrated supply chain with the scale of both companies will help break the industry model that has failed growers for many years. The proposed new merged Wools of New Zealand business will ultimately enable both businesses to realise their potential as a single entity. For Primary Wool Co-Operative shareholders, it will be the link to greater customer intimacy via the Wools of New Zealand market focussed strategy like the great carpet initiatives launched last week. For Wools of New Zealand growers, CP Wool will bring the engine that allows that strategy to come to life and ultimately deliver improved wool prices. Additionally, a reduction in administrative, operational, and transactional costs will happen as we consolidate and streamline supply and sales channels for strong wool, the aim always being to improve returns for our growers.”

Carrfields’ commitment remains strong

Carrfields commitment to and within the wool industry over the past 7 years has seen investment in not only CP Wool but also NZ Natural Fibres (formerly NZ Yarns). This has enabled shareholders to share in the extra value that a direct relationship brings and preserved vital processing capacity in NZ. Carrfields have always been committed to doing the right thing for the industry and did not want to stand in the way of enabling a grower group merger to happen. Carrfields believe that with a strong grower led organisation established, the time is right to shift their focus to NZ Natural Fibres which is more strategically aligned to the Carrfields business. NZ Natural Fibres will continue to source wool through CP Wool and will continue to be an integral customer so the link between grower and customer will still exist.

Grower-led and grower-driven

Carrfields, Wools of New Zealand and Primary Wool Co-Operative are aligned in believing this initiative is in the best interests of all parties and will benefit all growers who have previously supplied CP Wool and Wools of New Zealand, whether they be shareholders or not. The opportunity for growers to invest in their supply chain will continue to exist via Primary Wool Co-Operative. Primary Wool Co-Operative shareholders will become 50% shareholders in the new entity with any future dividends from the new entity flowing back through Primary Wool Co-Operative to its shareholders.

Carrfields agrees that realigning CP Wool into a fully owned grower entity will empower growers to be the masters of their own destiny. Growers fully owning CP Wool and merging with Wools of New Zealand will be the catalyst for better linking of growers with consumers ultimately with the aim of improving returns for growers. Craig Carr believes the transaction also has the benefit of signalling a changing dynamic within the industry model.

Roadshow

Your Primary Wool Co-Operative board will be holding a nationwide roadshow alongside Wools of New Zealand in late July and August to discuss the benefits of the merger and the requirements in relation to the shareholder vote required to approve the subsequent major transaction. Details will follow in due course with venues and timing. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contact any Director, please feel free.

Your Board is of the firm view that this transaction will enable the industry change and market-led strategy to unleash the potential that exists for such a great natural fibre. It will not be easy, but the time is right. To do nothing and continue with the status quo is not an option. We believe that we must be bold and re- imagine what the future might hold. It is your Board’s hope is that this will indeed lead to growers again being proud and profitable in the harvest and preparation of this great, natural, and sustainable fibre.

Questions / comments?

In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contact any Director, please feel free.

Contact details

Hamish de Lautour – Director – [email protected] – 0274 472 815

Bay de Lautour – Director – [email protected] – 0274 928 908

William Oliver – Director – [email protected] – 0274 644 069

Richard Young – Director – [email protected] – 0274 848 986

Alan White – Secretary – [email protected] – 021 355 955

23 July 2021

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