The restructuring of New Zealand’s Fletcher Challenge Forests operation has been completed with the launch of a new wood processing, marketing and distribution company, Tenon.

The new business was officially created at a board meeting in Auckland on February 20. This followed the decision by Fletcher Challenge Forests to sell all but 20,700ha of its 107,000ha forestry estate to the Kiwi Corporation, netting the company NZ560m.

According to Tenon’s chairman Sir Dryden Spring, selling the forestry operation would allow the company to focus on its higher value wood products operations. “The quality of the business will no longer be obscured by the underperforming forests,” he told shareholders.

He said that the new name formed a “powerful link to the heritage of wood working”. “It is also short, unique, easily remembered and lends itself to strong visual branding,” he said.

Tenon has seven plants with total annual capacity of 900,000m3 of finished product, including “appearance grade” sawn timber and boards, engineered wood products, landscaping items, framing timber and plywood, with the last two products sold under the ‘Origin’ brand. All the facilities are in or near New Zealand’s main pine forests in the central North Island.

Tenon has announced that it will be delisting from both the Australian and New York stock exchanges at some point. It will remain on the New Zealand Exchange.

The New Zealand Herald estimates that the restructuring of the Fletcher Challenge operation, which also included the sales of its energy and paper businesses, has cost NZ$271m over the past five years.