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War of words continues in FFS-Citic dispute

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 19th October 2000

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Fletcher Forests says it remains hopeful that it can resolve its dispute with Chinese-owned Citic New Zealand out of court despite Citic claiming court action is almost certain.

Citic New Zealand has announced that it is now of the view that court action is inevitable as it seeks to resolve the outstanding disputes between itself and Fletcher Challenge Forests in relation to the Central North Island Forestry

Citic also says that it will not agree to any proposal to split the forestry partnership's assets if the dispute cannot be settled.

Last week Fletcher chairman, Rod Deane, said moving to split the assets in the partnership, either by mutual agreement or by way of court proceedings, is another alternative open to the company if the two parties cannot reach agreement.

However Citic says such a split will destroy value and will not resolve the disputes.

Fletcher spokesperson Ginny Radford says if the dispute does end up in court her company will vigorously defend itself, but Fletcher is still hopeful it won't come to that.

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