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Government decision on AWI/AWS merger delayed

Apr '07
The Chairmen of Australian Wool Services (AWS) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Barry Walker and Ian McLachlan, have been advised by the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Peter McGauran, that the decision on government support for the integration of the two companies has not yet been taken.

In January, the AWI/AWS Integration Steering Committee put a proposal to the Minister asking for his response by the end of March.

Both the AWI and AWS Boards signed a Memorandum of Understanding last July to investigate the legal and financial implications to allow the integration. The Chairmen of AWS and of AWI agreed that integration was the best way forward for the benefit of their woolgrower shareholders.

Since announced, there has been considerable work done to resolve the issues. The intention to integrate has also had the full support of the entire wool sector, from farm gate to retail.

“In Australia, the major grower representative groups support integration wholeheartedly and are keen to see it achieved as soon as possible,” says AWI Chairman, Ian McLachlan.

“In December we reached agreement with the IWS Pension Fund Trustees which cleared the way on the largest hurdle, the IWS Pension Fund liability,” added AWS Chairman, Barry Walker. “Since then we have provided all the information that the Minister and his Department have sought and answered every question.

“However, analysis of the issues has been more complex and more time consuming than the Minister's staff could have assumed and the proposal remains with the Minister for his decision.”

The two Chairmen said they will make an announcement as soon as they receive a response from the Minister.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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