• Bostock Brothers chicken business set to be sold to Ingham’s

Bostock Brothers chicken business set to be sold to Ingham’s

Local organic chicken business, Bostock Brothers Limited (BBL), is set to be sold to industry giant Ingham’s in a multi-million dollar deal.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Ingham’s said it intended to acquire 100% of the Bostock Brothers organic chicken business in New Zealand for NZ$35.3 million.

The media release says the deal will include the poultry products, three freehold farming properties and the primary processing plant. Completion of the sale is expected by end September. Ingham’s said that the acquisition will be fully funded from existing debt facilities, and is contingent upon the satisfaction of conditions, including with respect to the Commerce Commission and Overseas Investment Office.

Ingham’s CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Reeves, said: “With the strong recovery in operational and financial performance of our New Zealand business, this acquisition represents a unique opportunity to further enhance our capabilities, extend our range and advance our plans for the business.”

Inghams Chief Executive, New Zealand, Edward Alexander, said: “The addition of the highly regarded premium Bostock brand and team strongly aligns with our objective to establish Inghams as the leading premium operator in the market.”

BBL is run by Ben and George Bostock, whose father John owns Bostock New Zealand. The announcement of the sale to Ingham’s come as Hawke’s Bay App understands that an overseas buyer is believed to be interested in purchasing Bostock New Zealand.

Contacted by Hawke’s Bay App today, John Bostock declined to comment, saying that he was on holiday.

Bostock New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s leading growers and the largest organic apple producer. Like other growers in Hawke’s Bay Bostock New Zealand was adversely affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in February.

Hawke’s Bay App reported in August last year that Bostock was  looking to sell down shares in a bid to access capital for new opportunities.

Approached for comment at the time, John Bostock said the plan was for him to retain controlling interest in the company.

“This is to make Bostock New Zealand bigger and stronger than ever and take advantage of lots of opportunities that are emerging.”

However, Hawke’s Bay App understands that a potential buyer from the United States is interested in acquiring full ownership of the multi-million dollar company.

Any sale of local companies to overseas buyers needs to be approved by the Overseas Investment Office which administers New Zealand's overseas investment laws. The OIO regulates overseas investment in New Zealand's sensitive land, significant business assets, and fishing quota. The OIO assesses notifications, and applications for consent under the Overseas Investment Act 2005.

Contacted by Hawke’s Bay App last month, the Overseas Investment Office said it had not received an application in relation to Bostock New Zealand.

Photo: Bostock Brothers Limited.