Canadian firm buys a quarter stake in Fonterra’s biggest supplier, Dairy Holdings

John Bisset/Stuff

Dairy Holdings has sold a 25 per cent stake to a Canadian pension fund.

Dairy Holdings, the country’s biggest corporate dairy farmer has sold a 25 per cent stake to Canadian pension fund, Sooke Investments, for an unknown sum.

Diary Holdings is Fonterra’s largest shareholder, with more than 12 million shares and $1 billion in assets.

Dairy Holdings’ 59 dairy farms are all in the South Island, with a total herd of 50,000 milking cows that produce around 17 million kilograms of milk solids a year, according to its website.

Sooke is owned by Canadian state-owned Public Sector Pension Investment Board and also owns a 69.5 per cent of Kaingaroa Timberlands, and is the owner of investment holding firm Global Herd.

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Timaru-based Dairy Holdings is made up of five companies, the largest of which is Dacca Investments. The other four are Pure Pasture Investments, Turdair 2019 and Turdair Holdings, owned by Temuka farming couple Margaret and Murray Turley.

Prior to the deal with Sooke, the company was wholly New Zealand owned.

Dairy Holdings began in 2001 with the purchase of two South Island corporate farming companies: Tasman Agriculture and Dairy Brands.

Dairy Holdings would not comment on the sale.