Australia's largest integrated poultry producer, Inghams Enterprises, is up for sale, including the $320 million a year business in New Zealand.
The company, which has already notched up more than $2 billion in sales so far in 2012, has production and processing facilities in Australia and New Zealand.
It produces a wide variety of chicken and turkey products as well as animal stockfeeds.
Bob Ingham, the longstanding and sole shareholder of Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd, announced the sale plan yesterday.
"My decision marks the next phase for the successful ongoing development of the company and is one that I, as sole shareholder, have considered for a number of years," he said in a statement.
Inghams employs 1000 people in New Zealand in feed milling, chicken farming and processing and distribution of chickens and chicken products.
It reported a net profit for the year to June last year of $11.1m from its New Zealand operations.
Inghams entered the New Zealand market in 1990 when it bought Waikato-based Harvey Farms' chicken and feed operations and now holds the No 2 slot in the industry behind Tegel.
All its chickens are processed at a Piako plant, with most of its 600 workers coming from Te Aroha, Morrinsville, Matamata and the small towns in between.
Inghams also has three feed-manufacturing mills, one in Hamilton which specialises in producing feed for meat chickens and two stockfeed mills in Mt Maunganui and Whanganui.
Ingham said the day-to-day operations of the company would continue as usual under the direction of Australian-based chief executive Kevin McBain and his team.
Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd has been appointed to manage the process of identifying a suitable buyer from a broad range of potential bidders.
The Investec-managed process is expected to take several months.
No sale price was mentioned in the statement.
Tegel New Zealand was sold last year to Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners for $605m. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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