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Fletcher Challenge

Friday 22nd September 2000

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1981
Fletcher Challenge formed from the merger of Fletcher Holdings, Tasman Pulp & Paper and Challenge Corporation.

1986
Takeover of NZ Forest Products. 20% stake in Jennings acquired. $100 million, 50% investment in Chile's Papelas y Cartones. Sold: Marac, Broadbank, Challenge Computers

1987
Acquisitions: NZ Forest Products, Dalgety Crown ($800 million), Jennings (17%), British Columbia Forest Products (48%)

1988
Acquisitions ($4.1 billion): Australian Newspaper Mills (50%), Papel de Impresa (Brazil, 50%), Tasman Forestal (Chile, 50%), Wright-Schuchart (US, 100%), Petrocorp ($1.1 billion), Winstone ($444 million), Consolidated Metal Industries, Panelcorp. Hugh Fletcher replaces Sir Ronald Trotter as chief executive

1989
Acquisitions: UK Paper, £300 million ($810 million). Capital expenditure $2 billion: $US350 million Blandin modernisation, $220 million Tasman expansion and upgrade, $C263 million Crofton (Canada) pulp mill upgrade. Exit: meat industry

1990
Acquisitions: Rural Bank, Synfuel. Exits: fishing, consumer products, merchant banking, retail financial services, substitution manufacturing

1991
Acquisitions: New Zealand forests, $262 million, Canadian oil and gas $467 million. Capital expenditure: pulp and paper $668 million

1992
Acquisitions: Cape Horn Methanol (Chile). Sales: Petrochem $45 million, New Zealand property $56 million

1993
UK Paper writedown: $227 million. Sales: Chilean forests $227 million, NGC $305 million, Methanex $1 billion, New Zealand property $249 million, Rural Bank $445 million, Canada wood processing $281 million, sales in Canada and FCC selldown $510 million. Forests letter stock formed

1994
Acquisitions: Hikurangi forest $125 million. Sales: Wrightson, New Zealand property. Sales in Canada.Timberwest float

1995
Acquisitions: Brunei exploration rights, China Steel joint venture $US25 million. Investment-grade credit rating

1996
Building, Energy, Paper letter stocks formed. Acquisitions: American Moulding Corporation, Forestadora Tapebicua $180 million, Malaysian Newsprint Industries 20%, Capstone Turbines 20%, Stratford power station. Building withdrawal from US and Asia

1997
Acquisitions: Central North Island forests, Australian Newspaper Mills 50%. Sales: Timberwest 52% (FCC), forests $518 million. UK Paper writedown: $400 million. Canadian pulp and paper strike starts July. Asian downturn begins. Michael Andrews succeeds Hugh Fletcher as chief executive

1998
Launch: Challenge petrol stations. Sales: Blandin $1 billion, Donside mill (UK) $83 million. Stratford writedown: $74 million. Canada strike ends April.

1999
Sales: NGC 33% $270 million, UK Paper $277 million, Forest Bio Bio (Chile) $US105 million, Gold River newsprint machine $43 million, Island Co-generation $32 million, Stratford $37 million. Writedown: China building $49 million. Acquisitions: Papeles Bio Bio $116 million, central North Island forests 12.5%. Paper/FCC merger voted down

2000
July: sale of Paper for $5 billion

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