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Craig Norgate Steps Down As Chairman Of PGG Wrightson

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Craig Norgate
Craig Norgate

Wellington, July 23 NZPA - Craig Norgate has stepped down from his position as chairman of PGG Wrightson, saying the decision reflected the preference for an independent chair given the listed status of the company.

Mr Norgate advised his intention to step down last month and the board accepted the decision yesterday, PGG Wrightson said.

He has been succeeded by independent director Keith Smith, who has been a director of PGG Wrightson since its formation in 2005 through the merger of Pyne Gould Guinness and Wrightson. He was previously chairman of Wrightson from 2004.

Mr Norgate would remain a director of PGG Wrightson and managing director of Rural Portfolio Investments, which owns a 27.5 percent shareholding in the group, PGG Wrightson said.

Mr Norgate said the change was a natural progression that would allow the company to identify the governance platform best suited to its next stage of development.

That would be carried out through a formal process to review board composition, which was under way.

"PGG Wrightson is the product of a five-year campaign to revitalise the rural services industry for the benefit of farmers throughout New Zealand," Mr Norgate said.

"That process has involved continuous change -- in corporate structures, but more importantly in the way the industry works with farmers to help them improve their performance and profitability.

"Tremendous progress has been made -- in particular, the company has a stronger operational platform and is therefore better placed to provide the support, advice, services and products that farmers need."

Mr Norgate was chairman of PGG Wrightson from October 2007 and was previously deputy chairman. He was a director of Wrightson at the time of the merger with Pyne Gould Guinness in 2005. He will remain on the board of associated companies NZ Farming Systems Uruguay and Wool Partners International.

Last year PGG Wrightson defaulted on an offer to buy a 50 percent shareholding in meat cooperative Silver Fern Farms for $220 million, when it could not come up with the $145 million first instalment.

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