Simpson Grierson advises Chinese state-owned firm buying stake in NZ’s largest meat processor

by Sol Dolor09 Dec 2016
Simpson Grierson advised China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius Co. Ltd on the purchase of a 50% interest in Silver Fern Farms for around $260 million. 
Partner James Hawes says this is one of the most high profile deals in New Zealand in recent years.
“It is hoped that the tie up will provide a platform for Silver Fern to expand its export business in China, and bring business to New Zealand,” he said.
Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand's largest processor, marketer and exporter of lamb, beef, venison and associated products, selling to more than 60 countries.
Shanghai Maling is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bright Food, China's largest food company. Bright Food is owned by the Chinese government.
Simpson Grierson's team was led by partners Peter Hinton and James Hawes, and included Jaron McVicar and Matt Smith.
Approval from Land Information New Zealand was given in September following the green light from the Overseas Investment Office, according to Reuters. Silver Fern is said to be eyeing Bright Food’s supply chain and 8,000 supermarkets to improve its distribution in the country.
The NZ firm, which said it will use the investment to develop brand and strategy, has a particular focus on China which already accounts for sales of most of its volume, Reuters notes.

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