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Monday, 08 July 2019 08:55

Investment fund targets hort sector

Written by  Tessa Nicholson
Andrew Watters. Andrew Watters.

Five emerging stars of the horticulture industry have been singled out for investment by a new fund which aims to raise $100 million.

Kakariki Fund Ltd, to be managed by MyFarm Investments, will invest the money in orchards, vineyards, plantations and farms, which will then be co-managed by horticulture processors and exporters.

Kakariki will focus on hops, kiwifruit, apple, vineyards and manuka plantations. The investment in manuka plantations is part of a long-term strategy to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2024.

MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters says Kakariki offers investors access to the five horticultural industries via a single $100,000 sum.

 “There is really no other single investment that gives New Zealanders access to a diverse range of permanent crop businesses, or exposure to the intellectual property our partners have invested in their plant varieties and brand stories.”

MyFarm has since 2015 raised $165m to buy into 18 individual orchard, vineyard, hop and manuka plantations. Kakariki will continue that investment, with four initial assets targeted to an option to purchase. Those four are: 

• An 11 canopy-hectare SunGold kiwifruit orchard in Bay of Plenty

• A 50% share in a large scale 130 canopy-hectare hop garden

• 35 canopy-hectares of Rockit apples

• A 2000ha manuka plantation development.

In each of the developments, Kakariki is working with established businesses Rockit Global, which produces miniature Rockit apples, Hop Revolution, Sacred Hill wines, Comvita, a manuka honey producer and kiwifruit grower and packer DMS Progrowers.

While Kakariki will own the properties, they will be co-managed by their business partners.

The target is annual investment returns of 10% from earnings from the sale of crops through the partners and any increases in land values. 

Kakariki says it hopes to list on the NZX within three to five years.

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