Wallace Group takes on Nichols to strengthen casualty cow collection in south
North Island livestock co-products specialist Wallace Group has bought Christchurch tannery Nichols (NZ) Limited in a bid to expand its activities in the South Island.
Since the 1970s, Nichols (NZ) had developed a South Island casualty calf and slink lamb collector network, along with specialist tanning facilities.
Wallace Group executive officer, Graham Shortland said Nichols (NZ) represented an important strategic investment for the company as an agri-recycler.
"It aligns well with our casualty cow collection business in the North Island, and we are using Nichols' know-how and infrastructure to expand our collection service in the South Island," he said.
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"Nichols also produces processed lamb skins from slink lambs, so it complements our large scale tannery at Waitoa which does cattle hides and calf skins."
Wallace Group was formed in June through the merger of Wallace Corporation and Farm Brands, creating a nation-wide co-products and tannery business. The company acquired the business and assets of Nichols (NZ) last week.
"We're are pleased to expand our casualty cow collection service so soon after our merger; it was one of our most important aims," Shortland said.
He said the opportunity to buy Nichols (NZ) arose through the desire of its parent company United Kingdom-based LH Nichols Limited to divest.
Nichols (NZ) will be fully integrated into Wallace Group but will continue to operate under the Nichols (NZ) Limited brand for the foreseeable future.
The company is a supplier of high quality finished leathers for luxury glove, garment, accessory and footwear manufacturing and also provides other tanners with graded raw material. Nichols (NZ)'s customer base includes Australasia, North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Shortland said that the company was experiencing historic low prices for skins.
Nichols (NZ) employs 30 full-time staff at the tannery and has a seasonal peak of about 70 staff across the tannery and skinning sites in the South Island. All staff will be retained and become employees of Wallace Group.