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This profile was last updated on 5/1/05  and contains information from public web pages.

Sir Selwyn Cushing

Wrong Sir Selwyn Cushing?


Wrightson Limited

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Board
    Wrightson Limited
Web References
The New Zealand Herald, 1 May 2005 [cached]
Selwyn Cushing
Selwyn Cushing
Selwyn Cushing joined the board of Wrightson in February.
That was after he and his family interests sold their 19.9 per cent stake in Hawke's Bay rural services firm Williams & Kettle to Wrightson, ensuring the success of Wrightson's takeover bid.
Cushing accumulated a 7.6 per cent stake in Vertex after the plastics' company's first profit warning, before selling at a profit to Christchurch businessman George Gould in February 2003.
The New Zealand Herald, 26 Feb 2005 [cached]
Sir Selwyn Cushing
Sir Selwyn Cushing
Let's be frank," says Selwyn Cushing, "Craig Norgate is the 2005 edition of Ron Brierley."
And it's kind of uncanny given that, for this interview, Cushing happens to be sitting in his old mate Ron's chair - at the head of the boardroom table in Guinness Peat's downtown Auckland office.
He says Norgate is the kind of deal-maker that every corporate sector needs and that New Zealand has been missing since Brierley left our shores.
Last week, Cushing joined Norgate as a director on the Wrightson board.
A week earlier, he and his family interests sold their 19.9 per cent Williams & Kettle stake to Wrightson, ensuring the success of the Norgate-led takeover.
Cushing has faith that the former Fonterra boss, who last year led a takeover of Wrightson, has good intentions for the rural services sector.
Cushing brushes those comments aside as he has done many times in the past.
He argues that Brierley Investments played a vital part in the transformation of the economy.
Cushing said it was clear the rural services sector was ready for a shakeup if the number of companies and stores were taken into account.
In fact, it was the last obvious candidate for that kind of rationalisation.
(If anyone can think of others, they should feel free to send him the names and addresses of the relevant companies, he adds with a wry smile.)
Cushing's involvement in this last big consolidation began on December 10 last year.
That was the day Fonterra and South Island-based rural services company Pyne Gould Guinness (PGG) made their ill-fated play for a cornerstone stake in Williams & Kettle.
Cushing said he had a sense something was coming, there had been talk in the industry.Then the brokers came calling, asking Cushing and his son, David, if they'd sell their 19.9 per cent holding.They were told it was out of the question.
Fonterra and PGG proceeded to make a stand in the market.That, in turn, triggered the interest of Wrightson, which proceeded to spend about $21 million and trumped the Fonterra/PGG bid.
Cushing said Wrightson moved with impressive speed.
One of those people will, of course, be Cushing, who adds his 23 years of rural services' experience to the new-look Wrightson board.
The three seats on the board helped convince Cushing that this was - as Norgate claimed - a friendly takeover.
The merger of the two companies will work, Cushing says.
"You've got a huge critical mass there ... on the other hand then South Island people might start to get a bit concerned at that."
Cushing believes that those South Island people - the good folks at PGG - are likely to make their own move at some point.
They might even partner with Fonterra again.
Sir Selwyn Cushing
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