Ngai Tahu, Tainui, Pioneer Capital buy Waikato Milking Systems for undisclosed sum

Commercial iwi heavyweights Tainui Group Holdings and Ngai Tahu Capital have teamed up with private investor Pioneer Capital to buy dairy technology manufacturer Waikato Milking Systems for an undisclosed sum.

The three parties will hold a third of equity in the partnership with senior management to take a minority stake in a deal expected to settle on March 31, they said in a statement. They bought the stake after Waikato Milking Systems shareholder UPC Capital engaged PwC to run a sale process last year attracting local and international interest. No price was disclosed.

"We've had a great run so far and our new investment partners provide us with an excellent platform for our next chapter of growth," Waikato Milking Systems chief executive Dean Bell said. "They have a deep understanding of our industry, significant investment capability and experience with New Zealand exporters, all of which we'll be sure to leverage."

Ngai Tahu has been looking to increase its exposure to the dairy sector in recent years, while Tainui last year indicated plans to take direct stakes in medium to large private businesses as part of a new investment strategy.

Last year, Pioneer Capital was allocated $40 million from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund as part of a $150 million venture capital fund to finance fast-growing small to medium-sized businesses with global potential. Pioneer also has stakes in software company SLI Systems, boutique brewer Moa beer, and health system software developer Orion Health.

Waikato Milking Systems designs, manufactures and supplies products including rotary systems to make milking more productive, herringbone systems to enable easier access for milking, and other components for dairy farmers.


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