SKEGGS family

David Skeggs
Tourism, shipping, property
$150 million

Dunedin-based Skeggs Group continues to divest assets, earlier this year selling its Pacifica Shipping business to China Navigation Company.

No price was disclosed but managing director David Skeggs said he was delighted to see CNC purchase the business, one of the country’s leading coastal ship operator and domestic cargo carriers.

CNC is the shipping arm of multinational Swire Group.

“Swire respects the history of Pacifica and its contribution to coastal shipping in New Zealand over the last 28 years,” Mr Skeggs said.

Pacifica will remain an independent organisation with its operations headquartered in Auckland.

The sale follows Skeggs Group’s 2012 divestment of most of its aquaculture interests for $85 million as it focuses on reinvesting heavily in its expanding southern tourism holdings.

Skeggs Group was established in 1952 by former Dunedin mayor Sir Clifford Skeggs.

The company is a key player in Queenstown, Milford Sound and Te Anau through South Discoveries, purchased in 2008.

Reflecting its tourism focus, the company’s head office, once Dunedin-based, is now tucked away in an industrial area near Queenstown’s airport.

Skeggs boasts in its stable Te Anau-based Go Milford coach and cruise business, Milford Sound Cruises, the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory, Harrisons Cove Kayaking, the Blue Duck Cafe and Bar and Queenstown Lake Cruise.

Its growth in Queenstown has included a multi-million dollar catamaran on Lake Wakatipu, which carries up to 150 passengers to Mt Nicholas Station.

The Milford Sound Development Authority – 49% owned by Skeggs Group – opened a $6 million harbour facility upgrade last year, including a new breakwater and additional wharves.

Skeggs Group’s other interests include Akarua winery and Skeggs Bluff Oysters.