Silver Fern Farms has appointed a retired High Court judge to mediate an agreement over damages between it and PGG Wrightson.
The two companies have failed to reach a resolution since PGG pulled out of a $220 million merger, after failing to get the bank funding needed for the first part of the payment for a 50% stake in Silver Fern.
Silver Fern Farms says it believes the damages are considerable, while PGG considers the damages to be a minimum of $10 million.
The company says it may take the case to court if the two parties cannot agree at mediation.
Both companies agree Silver Fern is entitled to $3.5 million for the costs it incurred in setting up the deal and getting approval from shareholders.
But they are unable to agree on the level of compensation beyond that.
The mediation process has a deadline of 18 April.