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T&G appoints new senior management team & directors

Tuesday 3rd April 2012

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Turners & Growers, the local fruit marketer, has announced new senior management and directors from new majority owner BayWa Aktiengesellschaft, and tapped local boardroom heavyweight John Anderson as an independent director.

The company confirmed the intended appointments of BayWa representatives Klaus Josef Lutz and Andreas Helber as directors, with Lutz taking up the role of chairman.

Former National Bank head Anderson and Fonterra Cooperative Group director John Wilson have also been appointed independent directors. Jeff Wesley, Brian D’Ath and Christina Symmans resigned from the board on March 7.

T&G also announced plans to review the fruit marketer’s operation, which will be conducted by senior management.

“The optimisation review will identify areas for potential improvement with regards to T&G’s operational performance, including direct benefits to growers, the streamlining of operations, an increased focus on Asian markets and coordination with BayWa’s European distribution network,” the company said in a statement.

T&G appointed Geoff Hipkins as chief executive, Harald Hamster-Egerer as chief financial officer and Philipp Wahl as chief operating officer. Hipkins will take up the role immediately.

Last month, BayWa secured Overseas Investment Office approval for its takeover of the fruit marketer. It bought some 73 percent of T&G shares for a total cost of about $158.2 million.

The fruit marketer posted an annual loss of $18.9 million in March after writing down the value of its kiwifruit orchards as the vine bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv actinadiae continues to ravage the local industry.

The shares were unchanged at $1.70 in trading today, a discount of 8.1 percent to the $1.85 price offered by BayWa.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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