3 Nov 2015

Silver Fern deal one step closer

1:32 pm on 3 November 2015

Shanghai Maling shareholders have endorsed the proposed merger with Silver Fern Farms.

Shanghai Maling is China's largest red meat processor and it is proposing to inject $261 million into a new 50-50 partnership with Silver Fern Farms.

Its shareholders voted 99 percent in favour of the proposal and Silver Fern Farms chief executive Dean Hamilton said the legal process behind the deal was now under way and he was delighted with the result.

"Now we're into a period where it's slightly out of our hands with the regulatory approvals, but we're confident we'll get those."

Shanghai Maling now must lodge with various agencies in China.

"To obviously invest that amount of capital outside of China, $261m and they also have to apply in New Zealand under OIA to make that investment."

He said the company was quietly confident the investment would meet the goals and requirements of the Overseas Investment Office (OIA).

"It's all about jobs and value creation and that occurring in New Zealand. We believe our sales as a result of the investment will increase over time, in particular in China by access to their retail and distribution networks."

He said Silver Ferns product would be produced and packaged in New Zealand and higher prices would be paid for livestock in New Zealand

Mr Hamilton said it was not known how long the OIA application process would take.

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