Timber operation sold

The receivers of Southern Cross Forest Products have sold the Thames operations for an undisclosed sum and further redundancies on the cards.

Combined South Island and North Island redundancies may be about 250. Since the ANZ bank placed Southern Cross in receivership in March, with debts of about $57 million, about 180 Otago staff in Balclutha, Milton and Mosgiel have lost their jobs.

Receiver Korda Mentha yesterday announced the Thames operations' sale to Profiles Woodproducts, of Thames. Settlement is due next month.

While no Thames staff have yet been given notice, receiver Brendon Gibson said redundancies would result when the Thames green-mill and dry-mill operations were restructured into Profiles' business.

First Union general secretary Robert Reid understood once the mill changed hands on July 18, and workers were paid as preferential creditors, the number of Thames jobs would fall from 142 to about 70-80, as the new owner reduced operations from two shifts to one.

Aside from Southern Cross owing the ANZ $39 million and UDC Finance $7.2 million, about 34 unsecured creditors are owed a further $10.8 million.

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