Pohutukawa Invests in Camm4-Shears & Mak

12 JUNE 2008

Merger creates ‘the best of both worlds’ for Camm4 and Shears & Mak customers

Two of New Zealand’s leading joinery and shop-fitting providers – Camm 4 and Shears & Mak – have merged their businesses to create the country’s largest, full-service shop-fitting one-stop-shop.

“Current and future customers will benefit from the combination of Camm4’s manufacturing and operational technology with Shears & Mak’s 22 years of experience in shopfitting, building works, and installation. Increased capacity will form a strengthened platform to take advantage of growing Australasian opportunities,” says Chris Stafford-Bush, Managing Director of Camm4.

“What became compelling for all parties was the realisation that the combination of Camm 4 and Shears & Mak would play to the strengths of both companies. So it will be ‘business as usual’ but it will also be a much better offering.”

Mr Stafford-Bush will lead the new company along with Patrick Moyne and Adam Begg, the Operational Directors of the current Camm4 and Shears & Mak facilities in Albany and Panmure. Julie Stafford-Bush of Camm4 will lead the merged company’s new business development, working closely with Charlie Shears and Anthony L’Estrange of Shears & Mak.

“To facilitate future growth, Direct Capital recently acquired a minority shareholding in the merged company together with Camm4 and Shears & Mak shareholders,” says Mr Stafford-Bush, “and Gavin Lonergan and Mark Hutton from Direct Capital have joined Camm4’s Board.”

The new company continues to market under the two existing brands, Camm and Shears & Mak.

Prior to the merger, Camm 4 sub-contracted shop-fit installation work because of a lack of capacity while Shears & Mak sometimes sub-contracted manufacturing work for the same reason. Now, with Camm 4’s strength in computerised joinery manufacturing and its fully integrated production processes, plus Shears & Mak’s strengths in brand leadership and shop-fit installation, the merged company will be poised to become a true market leader.

“The new company offers a hugely strengthened value proposition for all our clients and will enable us to expand our retail customer base across New Zealand and Australia,” says Mr Stafford-Bush. “We’re very confident that we’ll quickly improve efficiencies for our existing and new customers through economies of scale and providing a full, in-house, turn-key service.

“The merger will put the company in a strong position to pursue substantial trans-Tasman clients and NZ national chains because those sorts of companies tend to form long-term relationships with a single, trusted partner for their design and fit-out needs. Long-term partnerships enable them to maintain consistent pricing and give all parties the chance to learn from each job and make improvements on the next one.”

A transition period of 12 months is anticipated to implement common IT and operational infrastructures, amalgamate purchasing, and combine human resource and other administrative roles to reduce common costs. During this time, both operations will carry on with business as usual under existing key leadership to ensure a smooth transition for staff and customers.

Background: Camm 4

Employing 40 staff – including an architect and four in-house designers – at its 40,000-square-foot, automated, purpose-built premises in Albany, Camm 4 combines the latest computer-controlled fabrication machinery with integrated manufacturing and financial software.

The company was acquired five years ago by Stafford-Bush family and has expanded since then to service a wide range of national and international retailers including Bendon, Cue, Portmans, Veronika Maine, Farmers, Whitcoulls, Hallensteins, Glassons, Borders, and Smith & Caughey.

Currently more than 25% of Camm 4’s business is derived from Australia where the company handles shop-fitting assignments for brands including Bendon, Rembrandt, Sunglasses Hut, and Cue.

Background: Shears & Mak

Established 22 years ago by Charlie Shears and Jon Mak, Shears & Mak employs 60 staff including quantity surveyors, draughtsmen, spray painters, cabinet makers, and carpenters at its Panmure premises, and is the most respected brand in the New Zealand shop-fitting sector.

Predominantly a manufacturer, Shears & Mak derives its income from a range of national and international retail, hospitality, and commercial customers, including Gucci, Coffee Club, Crabtree & Evelyn, DFS, Kimberleys, Louis Vuitton, Max Fashions, Mississippi, Mont Blanc, OPSM, Overland Shoes, Pascoes, Stewart Dawsons, Sunglasses Hut, Watches of Switzerland, Gloria Jeans Coffee, and Air New Zealand.