Poultry producer Inghams Enterprises, whose New Zealand operation is centred in the Waikato and employs hundreds of people in the region, is up for sale.
Bob Ingham, the long-standing 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.
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 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.
Inghams - Australia's largest integrated poultry producer - 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 $11.1 million from its New Zealand operations.
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.
Bob 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) Limited has been appointed to manage the sale process, expected to take several months.
Tegel New Zealand was sold last year to Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners for $605 million by a consortium of investors headed by Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners.
- © Fairfax NZ News