INDEPENDENT NEWS

Seeka Acquire Waimapu in Kiwifruit Consolidation

Published: Thu 25 Oct 2001 02:35 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seeka to Acquire Waimapu in Kiwifruit Consolidation
1:3 Rights Issue Will Raise $3.42 Million to Fund Purchase
Tauranga– October 25, 2001 – Te Puke’s Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Limited today announced that it had agreed to purchase Tauranga based kiwifruit post harvest operator Waimapu Packhouse and Coolstore Limited. The acquisition will make Seeka one of the two largest suppliers of New Zealand kiwifruit, accounting for some 15% of the total crop.
The purchase will be funded by a $3.42 million one for three rights issue, a renounceable offer of one new ordinary share, at $2.00 per share, for every three existing shares held at the Record Date of 16 November 2001. Seeka’s two major shareholders, who between them own 29% of existing shares, have committed to take up their full entitlements and underwrite up to 82.5% of shares in the rights issue (the maximum permitted by takeover code provisions). Organising broker to the offer is ABN AMRO Craigs. In addition to funding the acquisition the proceeds will be used to further develop Seeka’s post harvest facilities.
Seeka operates a vertically integrated kiwifruit supply business from its base in Te Puke, while Waimapu has packhouse and coolstore facilities in Oropi and a base of 120 kiwifruit growers and leased orchards across the western Bay of Plenty. It supplied around 4% of the total New Zealand crop in 2001.
“Seeka is already achieving superior returns for its growers and shareholders,” says Seeka managing director, Tony de Farias. “We expect our performance to increase further as a result of the economies of scale, geographic spread, flexibility and synergies we will achieve as a result of the Waimapu purchase,”
“Waimapu has been a respected kiwifruit operator since its formation by Doug Voss and Wilson McGillivray family interests in 1983. Waimapu growers will be offered equity in the expanded Seeka operation, and we will be delighted to welcome them to the extended Seeka family,” he said.
The Waimapu acquisition will be partly funded by cash from the rights issue and partly by the issue of new shares in Seeka.
“The offer is attractively priced at a significant discount to market, and leaves Seeka with considerable flexibility to further develop its business,” said de Farias.
Seeka shares are quoted on the NZSE’s Unlisted Securities Market. The shares last traded at $2.45.
ENDS

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