Fletcher Building Ltd., New Zealand’s largest supplier of construction materials, dismissed claims that failures of plumbing systems in homes in Western Australia are caused by pipes made by its Iplex Australia unit.
(Bloomberg) — Fletcher Building Ltd., New Zealand’s largest supplier of construction materials, dismissed claims that failures of plumbing systems in homes in Western Australia are caused by pipes made by its Iplex Australia unit.
A Perth-based building company BGC Australia earlier this week released results of an investigation claiming the failures, which occurred in 2017-2022, were now being found across Australia and that the problem lay with the pro-fit pipes supplied by Iplex.
Fletcher Building halted its shares Wednesday in Wellington once it knew the report was being circulated to media and the market. The halt will remain in place until Monday to allow the market to consider Fletcher’s detailed response, the company said earlier Friday.
“We reaffirm that evidence to date clearly points to installation as the cause of the plumbing failures – with no evidence suggesting manufacturing is at fault,” the Auckland-based company said in a statement Friday. “The data and information provided by product merchants, builders and plumbing contractors confirms that the plumbing failures are limited to Western Australia and no abnormal leak rates have occurred elsewhere in Australia, contrary to claims made by BGC.”
Fletcher has set aside A$15 million ($9 million) to help identify the cause of the failures and to assist Perth builders and plumbers with repairs and replacement.
The company said a product recall, as suggested by BGC “is not justified and would create needless disruption to unaffected homeowners with perfectly good pipe and pipe installations.”
“BGC’s allegations are unfounded,” Fletcher Chief Executive Officer Ross Taylor said. “Our independent expert advice is that the methodology and hypothesis BGC used is gravely flawed and their findings unsupported.”
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