China’s stake in Silver Fern Farms approved

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Silver Fern Farms said investment from Shanghai Maling would bolster long-term growth
Silver Fern Farms said investment from Shanghai Maling would bolster long-term growth

Related tags Silver fern farms Investment Beef Lamb Pork Poultry

The New Zealand government has given the go-ahead for Chinese food operator Shanghai Maling to buy a 50% stake in meat processor Silver Fern Farms for $261 million.

There are now no barriers left to the hugely-anticipated deal. Silver Fern Farms confirmed Shanghai Maling’s investment is set for completion on 4 January 2017 – the first business day of the new financial year for the soon-to-be 50:50 partnership.

Louise Upston, New Zealand minister for land information, announced the government’s support for the foreign investment in a statement on Tuesday 20 September. She stated it was the government’s belief that China’s NZ$261m ($191.6m) investment would be of huge benefit to New Zealand’s meat industry.

The Overseas Investment Office recommended that we approve Shanghai Maling’s application, because it meets the criteria set down in the Overseas Investment Act 2005,​” Upston said.

We are satisfied that the investment will be of substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand, which is the test set out in the Act. The investment will put the company in a better financial position and allow it to increase its exports.​”

Accelerate growth

The injection of capital from Chinese investors will make Silver Fern Farms one of the wealthiest meat companies in the country, claimed the business.
The partnership will help us accelerate our consumer-focused plate-to-pasture strategy globally, and to grow sustainable value for our shareholders and farmer suppliers over time,​” said Silver Fern Farms chairman Rob Hewett.

“It is very pleasing to now be at this point after nearly 12 months, and we look forward to the partnership getting underway in the new year.​”

A majority of 80.4% shareholders at Silver Fern Farms voted in favour of entering into a split partnership with China’s Shanghai Maling​ in August this year. The special vote came after shareholders, including John Shrimpton and Blair Gallagher, wanted to halt the investment over concerns it could weaken the company’s ability to determine its own future.

With the partnership, Silver Fern Farms will gain an unrivalled foothold in China’s market for a New Zealand meat company.

How does Silver Fern Farms benefit from Chinese link-up?

  • $261m investment
  • 50:50 partnership
  • 750 retail stores 
  • 56 specialist meat outlets 
  • 19 wholesale facilities

We are very pleased with the regulatory approval for this partnership,​” said Shanghai Maling​ president Wei Ping Shen who praised the company’s growth possibilities.

“[The approval] clears the way for us to move ahead with the partnership. New Zealand grass-fed red meat is the best in the world and the Silver Fern Farms’ brand has the potential to become a leading red meat brand globally.​”

Stock market-listed Shanghai Maling​ is a subsidiary of China’s state-owned multinational food and drink manufacturer Bright Foods, which owns global brands like Weetabix and United Biscuits.

Related news

Show more

Related product

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

Content provided by BIOSPRINGER, natural Yeast ingredients | 17-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Korean food is on-trend in Asia. We mainly find Korean taste in noodles, sauces & dressings, pickled condiments, ready meals and savory snacks.

Follow us


View more


Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast