24 Feb 2012

Investment company will give NZers stake in dairy farms

6:28 am on 24 February 2012

A new dairy farm investment company says it will give smaller New Zealand investors and institutions the chance of a stake in dairy farms that would normally be out of their reach.

Pastoral Dairy Investments has launched a public share offering seeking to raise at least $25 million and is hoping to attract a further $50 million from institutional investors and charitable organisations.

The company will be aiming to buy up to 10 farms and will be targeting larger farms, mainly in the South Island.

It will be run by a partnership from MyFarm, which already manages 47 farms on behalf of investment syndicates, mostly in Southland.

Director Andrew Watters says Pastoral Dairy Investments has been set up so that the majority ownership stays in New Zealand hands.

He says the constitution specifies that foreign ownership must be less than 24.9% and that ensures it will remain a New Zealand investor in terms of the Overseas Investment Office.

Pastoral Dairy Investments chairman Malcolm Bailey, who's also a Fonterra director, says it's a good time to invest in dairy farms.

He says the price of farm assets relative to farm returns is currently very favourable and internationally the dairy supply and demand balance is very encouraging for dairy prices.