Professional director Susan Paterson will join the Steel & Tube Holdings board next month and succeed chairman John Anderson when the former banker departs the steel products distributor in the first half of 2017.

Paterson, who currently chairs IT consultancy Theta Systems and is a director of Sky Network Television, Goodman New Zealand, Arvida, Les Mills NZ and the Electricity Authority, has been appointed to Steel & Tube's board, effective Jan. 16, the Lower Hutt-based company said in a statement. Anderson said her experience as an executive with Fletcher Challenge's steel and wire products business will add value to the company's board, as will her time as a council member of International Accreditation New Zealand.

Last month Anderson signalled his looming retirement to shareholders at their annual meeting and said a programme was underway to refresh the boardroom. Once a new chair was selected, Anderson told shareholders his successor would assess the board make-up and size and could propose a hike in directors' fees at the 2017 AGM.

Steel & Tube is one of several companies under the regulator's microscope over testing of steel mesh products. The Commerce Commission this month said it would pursue prosecutions claiming three firms, including Steel & Tube, that allegedly misrepresented their products as complying with required standards when they didn't. Steel & Tube has said it was confident in the quality of its products and its testing regime and was disappointed in the regulator's decision to prosecute.

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Other steel products makers received warnings and enforceable undertakings over their testing procedures, and a new regime for steel mesh set to come into force next May.

Steel & Tube shares slipped 0.8 percent to $2.38, having gained 7.1 percent so far this year.