The niche dairy products company, Lewis Road Creamery, has found a major new shareholder to fund its expansion.
Southern Pastures, the country's biggest farmland investment fund, has taken a 25 percent stake in the boutique dairy company, which is looking to make new products and start selling overseas.
"Southern Pastures is an investment fund founded by a group of like-minded Kiwis with whom we share values and ambitions for the future of premium New Zealand dairy. Like us they believe the future of New Zealand dairy lies in quality not quantity," Lewis Road founder and chief executive Peter Cullinane said.
He declined to say how much the deal was worth but said he had sold down some of his holding, although he remained the biggest shareholder.
Lewis Road Creamery began in Cullinane's kitchen in 2012, but now produces milk, including its well-known chocolate milk, butter and organic dairy products.
"It has become the premium dairy brand in New Zealand and we expect that, with our support, Peter and his team will be able to develop more exciting products and investigate potential offshore markets for expansion," South Pastures' chairman Prem Mann said.
Mr Cullinane said the funds raised from the deal would be used to build extra processing facilities. He said in due course Lewis Road would probably source some of the extra milk needed from Southern Pastures' dairy farms.