NZ’s Synlait Milk planning share issue

Chinese controlled-New Zealand dairy company Synlait Milk is planning a public share offer to fund expansion and repay debt, the company said on Tuesday.

The company is 51 per cent owned by China’s Bright Dairy and Food and Synlait, a private company grouping local investors and Japan’s Mitsui.

It said that Synlait plans to redistribute to its shareholders its Synlait Milk holding, but they will Be offered the chance to sell some or all of their holding as part of the initial public offer.

However, Bright is expected to retain its full investment in Synlait Milk, which it acquired in 2010 for NZ$82 million (HK$526.6 million).

“The proceeds of any offer will be used to support various growth initiatives including the construction of a new packaging plant,” the company said in a statement.

Synlait operates a milk processing factory in New Zealand’s country’s South Island making milk powder and infant formula, which is sold through Bright’s Chinese outlets.

It reported a net profit of NZ$6.3 million in the year to July 31 last year.

No details of how many shares will be sold nor how much is being sought from the IPO have been given, nor a timetable for when it might occur and list on the local exchange.

First NZ Capital and Goldman Sachs have been appointed by Synlait Milk as joint lead managers of the proposed IPO.

The planned float is the latest for the local stock exchange, which last week saw the NZ$1.7 billion (HK$10.9 billion) partial float of state-controlled power company Mighty River Power.

Other prospective New Zealand IPOs this year include Z Energy, a petrol retailer, and either Genesis Energy or Meridian, both state-owned power companies.