Corporate warriors Sir Ron Brierley and Tony Gibbs have reconciled since their very public falling-out over the direction of Guinness Peat Group.
Commenting on yesterday's news of Brierley's resignation from the board of Coats Group, formerly GPG, Gibbs said it was "the practical and sensible thing for Ron to do".
"Ron's closer to 80 than he is to 70," he said. "I think it's time for him to move on and I think he recognises that."
Gibbs said he had dinner with 77-year-old Brierley in Sydney last week.
"Despite our differences, I'm very fond of Ron," he said. "I wish Ron very well and I also think it's the right thing he's doing."
Gibbs was sacked from GPG's board in 2010 by long-time friend Brierley, then the NZX-listed investment firm's chairman, after speaking out against plans for a proposed demerger of the company.
In 2011 the pair had another well-publicised spat after Gibbs said he had advocated for London-based GPG to hold its annual meeting in New Zealand - a claim Brierley labelled "phoney".
Gibbs admits their relationship had been strained for a period.
"We're both individual people with individual ideas."
Brierley could not be reached for comment yesterday.
He took control of GPG in the early 1990s after he was dumped as chairman of Brierley Investments, the one-time sharemarket giant he founded in 1961 and listed on the NZX in 1970.
Shareholders blocked a plan to split GPG along regional lines in 2011. Since then the firm has divested most of its investment portfolio, leaving the company with its biggest asset, Coats, which it rebranded as last month.
As part of the rebranding, directors Rob Campbell, Scott Malcolm and Waldemar Szlezak resigned from the board.
Brierley began selling down his stake in GPG in 2012 after losing control of its board in 2011. By last September he reportedly held only about 1.2 per cent of the company's voting rights.
Coats chairman Mike Clasper yesterday thanked Brierley for his contribution to the firm.
"Having been appointed to the board as chairman in 1990, and holding that position until 2010, Sir Ron has brought a great deal of leadership, experience and insight to the company," Clasper said. "The board joins me in wishing Sir Ron the very best for the future."
Gibbs said Brierley's focus had moved to ASX-listed Mercantile Investment Company, which he gained control of in 2012.
Brierley Investments was New Zealand's most high-profile company through the 1970s and 1980s as it carried out takeover after takeover. At one stage one in every 20 Kiwis owned its shares.
However, its prominence began to wane after the 1987 sharemarket crash as the company struggled with poor investments. GuocoLeisure, formerly Brierley Investments, delisted from the NZX last year.
Matakana-based Gibbs runs a mandarin orchard and is president of the Howard League for Penal Reform.