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Web Exclusive | August 2017

Bendigo acquires Wangaratta

Australia-based Bendigo Woollen Mills has purchased Wangaratta Woollen Mills, the largest woollen mill in Australia, and its associated company Australian Country Spinners. The acquisition has led Bendigo to become the largest producer and distributor of hand-knitting yarn in New Zealand and Australia. The Wangaratta mill has an overall floor space of 15 acres.

Wangaratta produces about 2.5 times the number of products manufactured by Bendigo and the former’s sales is four times that of the latter. Established in 1923, Wangaratta Wollen Mills manufactures multiple brands including Cleckheaton, Shepherd, Panda and Patons. After the full acquisition of Australian Country Spinners, Bendigo will begin manufacturing these brands.

Wangaratta had recently started scaling down its staff levels and Colin Walker, owner and founder of Bendigo wanted to ensure its viable future in the country. Walker said that he wanted to invest in the iconic brand. Bendigo’s plans for the newly acquired mill is currently under review, said Walker. The company could consider turning it into a tourist mill.

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