Simon Limmer has been appointed the new chief executive of Silver Fern Farms. Limmer, 49, has been chief operating officer for Zespri where he has held various roles since 2008.  He will take over the chief executive role from Dean Hamilton who steps down in March next year…Full Article: NZfarmer.co.nz Nov 2017

Key Point

  • The new chief executive of Silver Fern Farms helped guide Zespri though New Zealand’s 2010 Psa (bacterial kiwifruit vine disease) outbreak.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In December 2016, Shanghai Maling formally acquired 50% of Silver Fern Farms (SFF) for ~USD 190.6 million. New Zealand’s Silver Fern Farms owns 1,769 hectares of “sensitive land” and manages 18 meat processing facilities.
  • In September 2016, New Zealand’s Minister for Land Information and Associate Minister for Finance issued their approval of Shanghai Maling’s 50% acquisition of Silver Fern Farms.
  • In August 2016, 80.4% of Silver Fern Farms’ shareholders voted in favor of the Chinese acquisition. As a result, the original holdouts of the deal stated they would end their opposition.
  • On 30 June 2016 (original deadline), New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) failed to issue a ruling on the deal. The OIO subsequently pushed back the deadline to September 30, 2016. Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling Aquarius stated they expected the deal to be complete by no later than January 4, 2017.
  • In May 2016, 80 Silver Fern Farms shareholders balked at the Shanghai Maling Aquarius deal and stated they were misled as to the financial standing of Silver Fern Farms when they voted on the deal back in October 2015. The shareholders stated they would hold a second vote on July 11, 2016. New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) cleared Silver Farms’ board of any wrongdoing regarding financial disclosures to its shareholders.
  • In October 2015, Silver Farm shareholders voted 82.22% in favor of selling a 50% stake to Shanghai Maling Aquarius.
  • In September 2015, Silver Farm shareholders were told that the company had a $140 million to $160 million forecasted debt for the financial year (ended September 30th). In November 2015, this debt was actually only $121 million while profits and revenues rose versus previous estimates.
  • In September 2015, Shanghai Maling Aquarius (SHA:600073), a subsidiary of Bright Food Group, announced it would acquire a 50% stake in New Zealand’s Silver Fern Farms (beef and lamb producer). New Zealand’s Silver Fern Farms reportedly controls 27% of the country’s beef and lamb exports. Within New Zealand, the farm cooperative is the market leader in terms of beef and venison product, and second in regards to lamb. Silver Fern Farms’ primary competitor is Fonterra.
  • In 1997, New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board established the Zespri brand (headquartered in Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, North Island).
  • Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Shanghai, Shanghai Maling Aquarius (SHA:600073) is a meat producer and processor. Its product line includes processed meat, canned meat, spices, and canned fish. The company is a subsidiary of Bright Food Group and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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