Sis­tema sold for $660m

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STAFF RE­PORTER

Kiwi plas­tic kitchen con­tainer firm Sis­tema has been snapped up by a US For­tune 500 com­pany for $660 mil­lion in an­other garage-to-global lo­cal busi­ness suc­cess story.

Founder, and 90 per cent owner, Bren­dan Lind­say turned down an ini­tial of­fer from Newell Brands in 2014 be­cause it would not com­mit to keep­ing the firm’s man­u­fac­tur­ing and 700 staff New Zealand based.

This year Newell tried again and af­ter vis­it­ing Sis­tema’s new Auck­land fac­tory, the com­pany with a United States mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of US$22 bil­lion (NZ$31b) agreed to all Lind­say’s con­di­tions.

‘‘There’s a 20-year lease on the build­ing, guar­an­teed em­ploy­ment for 700 staff with all their [ex­ist­ing] em­ploy­ment con­di­tions. It’s busi­ness as usual, noth­ing changes,’’ Lind­say said.

‘‘The way I look at it, this is my baby and it’s time for new par­ents. And it’s the best deal for Sis­tema be­cause why would you give your baby to par­ents you didn’t like or trust?’’

‘‘Newell has the ex­per­tise and mar­ket ac­cess that will en­able them to take the busi­ness to the next level and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the com­pany, es­pe­cially in North Amer­ica,’’ Lind­say said.

He will step down as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the com­pany he started 34 years ago from a garage in Cam­bridge, but will spend the next 12 months help­ing ap­point his re­place­ment and man­ag­ing the tran­si­tion

Lind­say and wife Jo, who chose the Sis­tema name, plan to take some time over Christ­mas to en­joy the suc­cess and will then work on char­i­ta­ble en­deav­ours next year.

‘‘A lot of New Zealan­ders get a lot of money and then bug­ger off. We’re stay­ing put be­cause we love our coun­try. It’s not all about the money, it’s also about time, and we have that now to give back to our coun­try and our com­mu­nity.

‘‘I hope a lot of peo­ple in New Zealand can ben­e­fit from Sis­tema’s suc­cess.’’

Asked how he planned to cel­e­brate the deal, Lind­say said he just wanted to head home and sit on the couch with his wife.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to talk­ing to her about what we’ve done, what we’ve achieved as a fam­ily.’’

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