The New Zealand Herald

Business briefing

Landlord fined Moon makes $95m from Icebreaker


The Tenancy Tribunal has sent a strong message to landlords who fail to meet their obligation­s. Lina Liu, owner of two boarding houses, was fined $4100 after a non-compliant gas supply was found at one property. Investigat­ors also found a lack of working smoke alarms. The tribunal ordered Liu to pay $4000 in exemplary damages plus $100 for failing to provide a written statement describing the levels of insulation — a legal requiremen­t since last July 1. Jeremy Moon, the founder of merino clothing firm Icebreaker, has bagged $95 million from the company’s sale. Before it was sold to United States retail giant VF Corporatio­n for $288m, Moon held a 33 per cent stake in Icebreaker, meaning he would have received about $95.04m from the takeover deal. The 48-year-old started Icebreaker in 1995 at the age of 24 with a $200,000 investment from friends, family and parents of his friends. In his early 20s he stumbled across a merino farm in a series of coincident­al events and was so inspired by the experience that he decided to create his own garments. At the time he didn’t know how to make clothing, but he told the Herald during a profile interview that it wasn’t a problem because he always asked a lot of questions. Moon, who grew up in Christchur­ch, originally didn’t set out to start a business, he said. Instead he was looking for an opportunit­y to lead an internatio­nal life. He was chief executive of Icebreaker for 19 years until now-chairman Rob Fyfe took over the reins in June 2014. Greg Smith now heads the company. Icebreaker apparel is sold in 47 countries worldwide and last year made more than $220m in global sales, of which 86 per cent was in markets overseas. The company buys 25 per cent of the merino wool New Zealand grows and produces more than four million garments a year. North Carolina-based VF Corporatio­n, which also owns retail brands Timberland, Vans and The North Face, bought Icebreaker in November last year. The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) signed off the deal last week, and the financial details were yesterday made public in its decision. The OIO said it was satisfied the new owners had the “relevant experience and acumen and are of good character”, and that VF Corporatio­n had shown financial commitment to the investment. When the deal was revealed in November Moon described the takeover as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunit­y”. Icebreaker signed a 10-year, $100m supply contract with New Zealand merino wool growers a week after the deal was first announced. NYSE-listed VF Corporatio­n has a market capitalisa­tion of about US$29.5 billion ($40.5b), and distribute­s to more than 170 countries worldwide. Moon was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to business in 2008. — Aimee Shaw

 ??  ?? Icebreaker founder Jeremy Moon has made a cool profit from the company’s sale to a US retail giant.
Icebreaker founder Jeremy Moon has made a cool profit from the company’s sale to a US retail giant.

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