Friday, 28 February 2014 08:39

New ownership for Waikato Milking Systems

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TAINUI GROUP Holdings, Ngai Tahu Capital and Pioneer Capital have bought dairy technology company Waikato Milking Systems.
The company was sold by majority shareholder UPC Capital and managing director John Anderson with settlement on March 31.

PwC was engaged to run a sale process and, with considerable interest from many overseas and New Zealand corporations, Tainui (TGH), Ngāi Tahu Capital and Pioneer Capital were the successful bidder.

Waikato Milking Systems will continue as an independent designer, manufacturer and supplier of dairy technology to the New Zealand market and over 30 dairy producing countries. The company remains in 100% New Zealand ownership, a factor that is valued by many customers, given this country's reputation for dairy sector expertise and product innovation.

The three institutional investors will each hold a third of the equity in the partnership with senior management also to hold a minority stake.
Waikato Milking Systems CEO Dean Bell is looking forward to working with this new group of owners. "We've had a great run so far and our new shareholders will provide us with an excellent platform for the next chapter of growth," says Bell.

Managing director John Anderson is also looking forward to the future. "We've had many approaches over the years. However in making the decision to sell, we believe our new shareholders represent the best opportunity for us to continue to do what we do well – stay close to our customers and deliver innovative and reliable products backed up by excellent service."

TGH CEO Mike Pohio says its the first step in Tainui's diversification programme and a continuing commitment to the Waikato region. "This company is one of our local success stories. It has not only built a strong domestic business but it's also making great strides on the export front. Our investment will help build on that success."

Chief executive of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation (NTHC), Mike Sang, says Waikato Milking Systems fits well within the NTHC investment portfolio. "Ngāi Tahu Farming is making a strong commitment to the dairy sector and the use of innovative products and technology to achieve sustainability and production goals is a core part of our rural strategy. The benefits are many and varied – for Waikato Milking Systems, our own farming operations and our Capital subsidiary."

The Waikato Milking Systems investment ticks a lot of boxes for Pioneer Capital. "We focus on high performing people and businesses with strong growth prospects, particularly in international markets. These are clearly evident at Waikato Milking Systems" says Randal Barrett, Pioneer Capital managing director.

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