Gunns Limited: One Of The Oldest Forestry Public Companies In Australia

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Gunns Limited is one of the oldest forestry public companies in Australia, established in 1875 by John and Thomas Gunn (Gunns Limited 2013). The headquarters of this company was located in Lanuceston, a beautiful city with rich forest resources in Tasmania of Australia. The principal activities of Gunns Limited Company are producing a variety of timber products, exploited and exported in raw materials of forest. It was stated The ABC online (28 September 2012) that, in 1986, Gunns is official listed, and in the golden age of this company, the shares were trading at $4 each and employing more than 1000 people. However, it went into voluntary administration on 27st September 2012, which is conducted by Daniel Bryant of PPB Advisory, and the total debts prior to consolidation is more than 3 billion (PPB Advisory 2013). This report will discuss the achievement of Gunns Limited over its history and its major stakeholders. Then it will focus on talking about its major project of paper mill, which led Gunns into voluntary administration. It will also analyze the major assets of this company and further consider about the possible outcome of the voluntary administration. Tis report argues that during the operation of these years, the main issue which related to Corporations Acts faced by Gunns limited, place it into insolvency and the main reason place this company into voluntary administration is the failed project of paper mill.

1: Achievement of Gunns Limited over history
After many years development, Gunns Limited has obtained many achievements in such areas such as economic, social and environmental sustainability. Firstly, it was the oldest and largest forestry company in Australia, managing over 275,000 hectares of freehold land, with 200,000 hectares under plantation, and having approximately 150,000 hectares of hardwood (Gunns Limited 2013). As the biggest export woodchip company in the southern hemisphere, it has made huge contribution to the development of commercial and Industrial in Launceston, such as brought lots of work opportunity to the locality (Cook 2012). Moreover, according to Gunns (2013), it was the first company to get the certification from the International Organisation Standards which means they made excellent job at environment management and have met the preferences from customer, as well as good operation in the past. Furthermore, it was also the first company to achieve the certification from the Australian Forestry Standard, “the national benchmark for independent verification of environmental, economic and social sustainability in forest management”(Gunns Limited 2013). All of these achievements confirm that Gunns Limited was the greatest forestry company in Australia.
2: Major Stakeholders
As a public company, the stakeholders of Gunns include debtors, creditors, Banks, suppliers, employees, directors, senior executives, the government taxation, and the clients of the company. In 1877, two brothers Gunn built this business as a private forests company so the major stakeholder during this period is just the owners of this company and the major client of this company. After that, it became a public company which is led by the CEO John Gay in 1986. The form of major stakeholders has been changed both in internal and external. The new board of directors includes the Chairman Chris Newman, the deputy chairman David Simmons, the managing director Greg L’Estrange and the director of company Richard Millar (Gunns 2013). Employees are also the important stakeholders at this time as this company is going into insolvency which means all of the employees will lose their jobs. Moreover, the numbers of external stakeholders are increased because the expansion plans for paper mills. As Gunns has been the client of ANZ, ANZ has become the major stakeholders as more and more debt occurred in this company. It played the important role in the financing of the proposed Bell Bay Pulp Mill (ANZ