Tuesday, 07 July 2020 09:55

Corporate farmer lures Canadian investor

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Colin Armer. Colin Armer.

It's business as usual at the country’s largest dairy farming business after the official announcement of a shareholder revamp.

Dairy Holdings Limited, which operates 59 dairy farms in the South Island, is now 25% owned by Canadian investment company Sooke Investment.

Dairy Holdings majority shareholder Colin Armer told Dairy News that Sooke bought the stake from Jagwei Ltd, a holding company for JD and RD Wallace, about a year ago.

He says the transaction became public when Dairy Holdings filed its annual returns with the Companies Office last week.

Armer says the transaction involved “a large lump of money”.

With not a lot of investor capital available in New Zealand, the company accepted Quebec-based Sooke’s offer.

“There is no change to the way Dairy Holdings operates, it’s business as usual,” he says.

Dairy Holdings is now 42% owned by Armer and his wife Dale, 33% by the Turley family and 25% by Sooke.

The Canadian company is expected to appoint a board member soon.

Dairy Holdings board is chaired by former Fonterra director Greg Gent. Armer, who also served as a Fonterra director, sits on the board with his wife Dale. Murray and Margaret Turley are also board members.

According to Dairy Holdings’ website, its farms produce 17 million kgMS from 50,000 milking cows.

The operations are self-contained and include 15 support farms that provide for the rearing and supply of 10,000 in-calf heifers per annum to the dairy farms and grazing of all non-lactating cows over the winter months.

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