PGG Wrightson launches new livestock business across the Tasman

NEW ZEALAND - PGG Wrightson has confirmed its intention to expand its Australian trading by launching a new livestock business in Victoria and South Australia.
calendar icon 9 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The listed Christchurch rural services group plans to move into other Australian states as it finds opportunity, particularly in a new service based around marketing commercial and pedigree cattle for farmers.

PGG Wrightson had made a "measured" Australian investment in dairy and real estate units, but had a long-term strategy to grow its business there, chairman Bill Baylis said.

New Zealand's dairy industry is struggling to cope with sky-high land prices, and there had been ongoing inquiries by Kiwis seeking opportunities in Australia even at a time of drought, Baylis said.

"There's no big infrastructure cost at all ... In the size of the group it's a relatively modest investment for ... a very good opportunity," Baylis said.

Last July PGG Wrightson announced it was going into the real estate business in Victoria, from a base in Tullamarine, Melbourne, responding to demand from customers considering investing across the ditch.

The new dairy services unit would run alongside the growing real estate arm, said livestock general manager Nigel Thorpe.

The Victorian farm property market is worth around $1.1 billion a year, but PGG did not want to disclose revenue and market share targets for either the real estate or dairy service units in the two states, Thorpe said.

About 20 staff had been employed in the two businesses with more to come, he said. "Our projection would be – in both real estate and livestock – to service the main dairy areas satisfactorily, so we've got the whole regions covered.

"As the opportunity arises we'll go further afield into the other states."

Like in New Zealand, dairying in Australia was becoming a scale operation with family businesses selling out to larger corporate farms, providing PGG with an opportunity.

Source: The Press
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