Bostock Group unloads orchards, organic chicken business with Russell McVeagh's help

The buyers include a Scales Corporation subsidiary and an ASX lister

Bostock Group unloads orchards, organic chicken business with Russell McVeagh's help
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Russell McVeagh has assisted organic apple producer the Bostock Group with the sale of 240ha of its selected orchard assets to Scales Corporation subsidiary Mr Apple NZ, as well as with the divestment of Bostock Group’s organic chicken business Bostock Brothers to ASX lister Inghams Group.

The orchard assets were sold for $46.5m; the deal also included Bostock's 50% stake in juice supplier Profruit. Meanwhile, the Bostock Brothers sale, which was publicised in March, amounted to $35.3m.

The transactions are pending customary closing conditions, including approvals from the Commerce Commission and Overseas Investment Office. The orchard sales are set to complete early to mid-next month; the Bostock Brothers sale is expected to complete at the end of September, according to an ASX announcement.

“Migrating our orchard mix to favour higher percentages of premium varieties, especially those varieties for which we have proprietary rights, is a core strategic imperative for Mr Apple as well as New Zealand’s broader horticultural industry. PVR varieties, such as DazzleTM, are more sought after than our traditional varieties, reflecting the superior colour qualities and eating experience. This allows the industry to continue to invest, innovate and expand whilst also creating high-value employment opportunities”, Scales Corporation chair Mike Petersen said in an NZX announcement.

Ingham’s CEO and managing director Andrew Reeves said in an ASX announcement that the acquisition of Bostock Brothers “represents a unique opportunity to further enhance our capabilities, extend our range and advance our plans for the business” given the “strong recovery in operational and financial performance of our New Zealand business”.

Russell McVeagh corporate partner Tom Gillespie and tax partner Greg Neill headed up the firm’s team on this transaction. They worked with a team from Hawke's Bay firm Sainsbury Logan and Williams that was led by corporate partner Andrew Wares.

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