The $11.5 million deal that includes a feed mill in Hamilton and direct-to-farm and packaged business should be finalised by the end of next month.
The deal gives SunRice subsidiary CopRice ownership of dairy and calf feed products under the Top Cow and Top Calf brands.
CopRice is a major provider of stockfeed and companion animal products in eastern Australia.
The company says the strategic acquisition will expand its operational footprint into New Zealand for the first time, building on its existing export business. It follows the August 2020 acquisition of the dairy and beef business of Riverbank Stockfeeds, which has enabled CopRice to strengthen its position in the Victorian beef and dairy market.
SunRice Group chairman Laurie Arthur says the expansion is part of its 2022 growth strategy.
“This is a significant and strategic acquisition for CopRice that will see it expand its operational footprint and expertise into the New Zealand dairy market for the first time,” says Arthur.
“The acquisition will see CopRice take its deep dairy nutrition expertise to one of the world’s largest dairy production countries, building on our existing export business into New Zealand by adding local production capability.”
SunRice has made a number of recent investments in the CopRice business in Australia.
Arthur says this includes repurposing the former Coleambally SunRice mill in New South Wales, the acquisition of Riverbank Stockfeeds’ dairy and beef business in Victoria, and investment in its Wangaratta site, Victoria to reconfigure it into a manufacturer of companion animal products.
“These investments are expected to deliver benefits from financial year 2022. Aside from this investment, we are actively exploring other strategic and organic growth opportunities for SunRice aligned to our 2022 Growth Strategy.”
CopRice general manager Peter McKinney says the Ingham feed business investment in Hamilton will take CopRice’s 40-plus years of dairy nutrition expertise to the New Zealand market.
“It will build on the success we have already had there with our packaged dog and horse range sold into the agricultural retail market.
“The acquisition will build on our existing relationships with strategic agricultural retail customers through being able to expand the range of packaged products to new species, especially in the key packaged calf market.”
The Ingham feed business recorded revenue of $25 million in the full year ended June 27, 2020. CopRice expects to generate synergies from introducing its expertise in NZ.
The SunRice Group is a major Australian branded food company and one of the world’s largest rice food companies, with approximately 2000 employees across multiple businesses.
With more than 30 major brands in around 50 countries across the world, its operations and assets span Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, the United States, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and Asia.
The 70-year old business has annual revenues of $1.13 billion.