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Fletcher Forests confirms CNIFP interest

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 13th December 2001

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Fletcher Challenge Forests (NZSE: FFS) has confirmed it has put forward a proposal for the Central North Island Forestry Partnership.

The CNIFP has been for sale since earlier this year when it went into receivership after failing to meet certain financial targets as required under its loan agreements.

At the time Fletcher Forests said the receivership was a step forward from previous difficulties although joint venture partner, Chinese-owned Citic, claimed the move was regrettable.

FFS says it has submitted a proposal to Morgan Stanley but CEO, Terry McFadgen, isn't giving much else away.

"We are subject to confidentiality restraints which preclude us from commenting further on the nature or content of our proposal at this time.

"Nor are we able to comment on the likely timing of further developments, as the process is under the control of Morgan Stanley and the receivers."

Mr McFadgen says the proposal involves a third party and the company does not expect raising additional equity capital to fund any deal.

He says shareholders will learn more about the proposal in due course, subject to the confidentiality constraints around the bid process.

FFS took a major hit on its partnership investment in the last financial year, writing it down by $529 million.

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