Purchase of Masport Foundry by Challenge Partners Limited

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Iconic NZ manufacturer Masport Foundry has been purchased by Challenge Partners Limited (CPL) with effect from 31 October 2014.

Challenge Partners is an investment group backed by a number of successful New Zealand businessmen and women, all of whom are passionate about manufacture in New Zealand. Its mission is to hold and grow industrial businesses, and it has created jobs and invested heavily in plant in its current subsidiaries.

Two years ago, CPL acquired Fieldmaster, an agricultural equipment manufacturer of slashers, toppers, mowers and post-drivers, which recently delivered the world’s fastest mowing equipment to Auckland Airport.

A year ago, CPL acquired LEP Engineering Plastics Ltd (formerly Ludowicis and Mulfords), which supplies industrial plastics, injection mouldings, polyurethane castings and machined plastic solutions to companies around the world as well as here in NZ.

LEP has now recently acquired leading NZ 3D printing company Plastic Design Technologies (PDT) to complement its 3D scanning capabilities.

“3D printing will change moulding and prototyping completely,” said CPL Director Myles Cooper. “So it has substantial synergies for a component manufacturer – in plastic and in cast iron, as patterns and moulds can be made quicker, easier and more accurately.”

Masport Foundry has occupied its Mt Wellington site since the 1940s and still employs close to a hundred staff pouring several thousands of tonnes of cast iron each year, primarily for export to sectors such as automotive, mining and construction.

“Everybody forgets – but we are still making things here in New Zealand, and we are actually very good at it! Every time wages go up in China – currently about 13% a year – more work comes back home,” enthused CPL Director Paul Ayers.

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