Shanghai Maling’s NZ$267m investment in Silver Fern Farms will be welcome news to the company’s shareholders and suppliers, said Silver Fern Farms co-operative chair Rob Hewett.
“This partnership is a genuine game-changer for Silver Fern Farms,” he explained. “It delivers a strong and sustainable capital structure, the resources to accelerate our plate-to-pasture strategy in selected global markets and the capital to invest in optimising our production facilities and capability. Importantly, it brings a collaborative and connected partner in the fastest-growing red meat market in the world, China.”
The $267m investment from Shanghai Maling will see the company gain a 50% stake in Silver Fern Farms’ – now named Silver Fern Farms Limited – business. A total of $57m has been put into the co-operative alongside the 50% holding on Silver Fern Farms.
“We have had overwhelming support from our shareholders throughout this process, and we are excited by the opportunities this partnership with Shanghai Maling will provide,” added Hewett.
In conjunction with the partnership, the co-operative board intends to announce the process for the redemption of approximately $5m of remaining supplier investment shares. This will be followed by the redemption of the $35m special dividend for the holders of ordinary and rebate shares in January. Both of these are expected to be completed by the end of January 2017.
The co-operative and the two companies have also announced the appointments to the board of directors. Appointed by Silver Fern Farms Co-operative are: Rob Hewett (co-chair), Dan Jex-Blake, Richard Young, Jane Taylor and Trevor Burt. Appointed by Shanghai Maling are: Xia Xu Shen (co-chair), Gu Xiang Yi, He Ru, Sam Robinson and Michael Schubert.
Hewett welcomed the appointment of Xia, who is also the chairman of Shanghai Maling, and the rest of the new appointments. “I am delighted with the calibre of the board for the partnership,” he commented. “This is a strong board with a broad range of experiences across the red meat industry, farming, finance, investment, international business and board governance.”