China Resources buys into Kiwi apple exporter

scalesHong Kong-based China Resources Ng Fung bought a 15.3 per cent stake in Scales Corporation, New Zealand’s biggest apple exporter, for about $55.9 million, from Direct Capital Investments.

China Resources Ng Fung, a Chinese state-owned food enterprise, entered into an arrangement to buy 21.5 million shares, or 15.38 per cent, at $2.60 apiece. Settlement of the deal is on March 21.

Scales released a note to the NZX stating it welcomed China Resources as a significant minority shareholder that can provide support in the company’s ongoing initiatives in China.

Scales’ share price rose 5.2 per cent to $2.63 since the announcement and has risen about 80 per cent in the past 12 months. Last month, according to a report from Scoop, Scales reported that 2015 profit more than doubled to $38.9 million on increased sales of higher value apples to markets in the Middle East and Asia.

China Resources Ng Fung is part of a global integrated food group that spans rice production, food research and development, production, processing, wholesale, retail, transportation, and international trade, its website stated.

Scales Corporation is a diversified agribusiness group and currently comprises three operating divisions: horticulture, storage and logistics and food ingredients.

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