A LIC board proposal to buy a 50% stake in Israeli agri tech company Afimilk has been knocked back by shareholders.
LIC’s board has signed a conditional deal and is seeking shareholder approval.
Based in Israel, Afimilk has a global presence across all its products and solutions, with particular success in regions of intensive dairy farming.
Afimilk is widely regarded as one of the industry leading producers of milk meters, behaviour sensors, and farm management software, with particular strength in having strong distribution across Europe and North America.
LIC chairman Murray King says the investment will help give LIC access to the data it needs to deliver superior herd improvement services and agritech for New Zealand farmers into the future and will improve access to on-farm technology solutions.
“To do that, it’s vital we keep our world-leading edge in pastoral dairy farming data, while broadening access to new information to meet future needs and challenges. The proposed investment in Afimilk will do both.
“It will help ensure LIC’s on-going access to pastoral dairy farming data through the increased use of in-line milk meters and animal monitoring systems (such as collars).
“We believe there are likely to be further development opportunities for in-line milk meters, to increase LIC’s resilience to the threat of disruption to access to pastoral dairy farming data posed as a result of the move away from traditional herd-testing services.”
Afimilk inline milk meter technology.
The investment will also help to drive future growth by opening LIC’s access to data on other farming methods beyond pastoral held by Afimilk.
Access to Afimilk’s resources and information on other farming methods will assist LIC to develop genetic programmes for the farming systems of the future.
The investment is proposed to be funded primarily through debt provided under LIC’s existing banking facilities, with the balance paid out of its cash reserves.
Shareholders will be sent a Notice of Meeting containing important information about Afimilk and the proposed transaction.