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images 10 1886 Sir James Fletcher snr in 1942

Fletcher Construction Co Ltd/ Fletcher Building Ltd

James Fletcher born in Kirkintilloch, Strathclyde, Scotland, the sixth of 13 children of a builder and his wife.

1908

James Fletcher emigrates from Scotland to Dunedin.

bullet 1909 Fletcher Construction staff in 1916

Fletcher goes into house-building and jobbing partnership with Englishman Albert Morris. Firm establishes its own joinery factory; firm moves into construction business; Morris quits; the business is growing too fast and because overdraft is too high. James' brother William joins business; firm becomes Fletcher Bros & Morris; problems on municipal swimming and Whitcombe & Tombs' projects, Dunedin. James' brother Andrew joins the business.

bullet 1916 Fletcher Arrowhead

James' brother John joins business; Fletcher Bros win contract for Auckland City Markets; Fletcher Bros becomes a limited-liability company. Fletcher Bros Ltd floated as the Fletcher Construction Co Ltd with 50,000 registered capital. Company headquarters move to Auckland; James Fletcher seeks to create vertically integrated company with interests in timber mills, brick-and-tile manufacturing, concrete, marble-quarrying and steel merchandising. Fletcher Construction completes Auckland University College Arts Building.

images 5 1929

Fletcher Construction completes Chateau Tongariro in troubled joint venture with tourism entrepreneur Rodolph Wigley; completes Auckland's Civic Theatre. Fletcher Construction completes Dominion Museum, Wellington.

bullet 1935-36 Many original state houses were built by Fletcher Construction

James Fletcher works with new Labour Government on plan to build state houses.

images 5 1937

Fletcher Construction subsidiary Residential Construction Ltd builds first state house; suffers losses of between 200 and 300 on each state house built but overdraft guaranteed by the Government; Fletcher Construction completes Wellington Railway Station.

bullet 1939

Residential Construction largely withdraws from state house business. Fletcher Holdings Ltd floated as public company; Fletcher Construction wins contract to rebuild Social Security Building, Wellington.

bullet 1942

James Fletcher seconded to War Administration as commissioner of defence construction and later as controller of shipbuilding-27; year-old accountant Jim (or J.C. as he was also known.) appointed managing director of Fletcher Holdings and Fletcher Construction.

bullet 1944

James Fletcher snr returns to private industry.

bullet 1945

Australia's Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd buys shares in Fletcher Holdings. James Fletcher knighted by Labour Government; Fletcher South Seas Ltd established in Samoa.

bullet 1949

Fletcher Construction expands into Australia. Fletcher Holdings joins forces the National Government to form Tasman Pulp & Paper Co Ltd.

bullet 1955 Kawerau Pulp and Paper

Tasman mill opens in Kawerau, eastern Bay of Plenty. Fletcher Holdings buys Australian-owned Kauri Timber Co Ltd. Fletcher Construction's turnover exceeds 13.2 million. Sir James Fletcher snr steps down as chairman of Fletcher Holdings and becomes founder president.

bullet 1972

Jim Fletcher becomes chairman of Fletcher Holdings (remains managing director until 1979 and chairman until 1981).

images 6 1974

Sir James Fletcher snr dies, aged 88.

bullet 1980 Sir Ron Trotter 1987

Jim Fletcher knighted by National Government; Fletcher Holdings tries unsuccessfully to take over Carter Holt Holdings Ltd. Fletcher Challenge Ltd formed by the merger of Fletcher Holdings, Tasman Pulp & Paper and Challenge Corporation Ltd; (Sir) Ron Trotter appointed managing director. Fletcher Challenge acquires Pacific Construction in Hawaii. Fletcher Challenge acquires Wright Schuchart (construction company) in Seattle; Sir James Fletcher jnr's middle son, Hugh Fletcher, takes over as managing director/CEO of Fletcher Challenge. Fletcher Challenge acquires Dinwiddie Construction in San Francisco and remnants of the 123-year-old Winstone group in New Zealand, including Winstone Wallboards. Fletcher Challenge board introduces letter stocks; Fletcher Challenge Building is one of four divisions created for letter-stock purposes.

image 4 1997 Hugh Fletcher

Hugh Fletcher steps down.

bullet 1997-98

Asian financial crisis. Fletcher Challenge board decides to break up the group.

bullet 2000 Ralph WatersWinstone Wallboards

Fletcher Challenge Building posts profit of $127 million on operating revenue of $2.38 billion; 23 March, Fletcher Building acquires operations, assets and liabilities previously attributed to Fletcher Challenge building operations; Australian Ralph Waters, ex-managing director of Email Ltd, appointed chief executive of Fletcher Building-faces loss, including unusual items, of $272 million. Waters starts reorganising the company and cutting costs; Fletcher Building acquires Australia's Laminex Group Ltd for $A645 million. 19 December, Fletcher Building Ltd incorporated. Fletcher Building acquires Australian-based Tasman Building Products Pty Ltd for $A230 million. Fletcher Building posts $240 million profit; share price soars. Fletcher Building acquires Australian building group Amatek Holdings Ltd for $A530 million.

© The University of Auckland Business School