Japanese company buys up Anzco

Japanese company Itoham now 100 per cent owner of meat processor Anzco


Japanese food company Itoham Yonekyu has  bought a 100 per cent stake in meat processor Anzco.

The company already owns 65 per cent and recently applied to buy the 18.24 per cent owned by Anzco founder Sir Graeme Harrison and the 16.76 per cent owned by another Japanese company, Nissui.

Harrison said the $100 million investment to buy the shares was a “vote of confidence in the New Zealand meat industry”.

“In terms of market capitalisation and links to major Japanese corporates, we haven’t seen anything like this in the New Zealand meat industry for a long time, Itoham is much bigger than Shanghai Maling for example.”

Anzco is New Zealand’s fifth largest exporter and the third  largest meat business after SFF and Alliance Group with a turnover of $1.45 billion. It has 3000 employees and eight offices overseas. Itoham has a greater than US$3b market capitalisation.

When Anzco first forged a relationship with Itoham in 1989, it was based around the export of sheepmeat, which Itoham processed into meat items, but over time Itoham had focused on producing ham and sausage from pork.

Because pork is not permitted in Muslim Indonesia, Itoham would revive processing items based on sheepmeat.

Nissui’s association with Anzco also dates back to 1989. It is a 50 per cent shareholder in the Sealord Group.

Harrison said Anzco was the only company of its sort that began life as a marketing company and then invested into assets in New Zealand.

It has the largest commercial feedlot in New Zealand in mid-Canterbury, and is the single largest supplier of chilled beef exports. The feedlot houses up to 20,000 angus steers at any one time.

It has about 10 per cent share of the sheepmeat market.

full story – NZ Farmer

Gerard Hutching

Make or break for troubled abattoir

The creation of a new commercial management board to run the Meat Plant is being billed as the last chance to save the loss-making facility.

Representatives of the island’s meat industry gathered this week to hear the government outline its plans to reverse the fortunes of the abattoir.

They heard how a new management board called OpCo will take over the running of the plant from the Fatstock Marketing Association.

This will look to increase throughput, bring pricing structures in line with the UK, improve marketing and search for a strategic partner.

Treasury has promised an extra £1m in funding support. Government subvention will continue while the handover to OpCo can be agreed.

The moves follow the failure to find a private sector operator following a tendering exercise. It aims to provide a better return to farmers and so reduce the number of beasts exported for slaughter.

Manx NFU general secretary Andrew Cooper said the union was ’cautiously optimistic’ as this was the only option on the table. He said: ’Everybody knows that what we have now isn’t working. If it can work, we will support it.’

OpCo will be chaired by Tim Baker MHK but not as a political role.

Transfer of the meat plant to the new body has been approved in principle and will be confirmed in writing once FMA clarifications are satisfied.

The Agricultural Marketing Society had tendered to take over the running of the plant and has asked DEFA to explain why its bid failed to meet the requirements of the procurement team.

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot MHK told the meeting that finding a strategic partner was the key to the plant’s future success.

Full story – IOM Today

Adrian Darbyshire