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Strong Investment In Future Of Kapiti Cheese

5th December, 2000


STRONG INVESTMENT IN FUTURE OF KAPITI CHEESE


Award winning cheese makers, Kapiti Cheeses Ltd are on the expansion trail with an injection of $2.2 million in equity funding from Wellington based investment company Rangatira Ltd. Subject to shareholder approval, the final deal will give Rangatira approximately 40% of Kapiti’s ordinary share capital.

This new investment will fund a major $3.5 million expansion of production facilities at Kapiti Cheeses’ Paraparaumu plant. Currently this plant, known as Te Tihi Pataka (The Cheese Storehouse) is a large modern facility for maturing, conditioning and packing cheese, making premium ice cream and co-ordinating the company’s distribution and administration. The proposed extensions to this plant will create a new cheese factory and enable Kapiti Cheeses to treble its current production.

Chairman of Kapiti Cheeses, John Butterfield says the company is delighted with the finance for expansion from Rangatira given their enviable track record of successful involvement in New Zealand companies. “This agreement and the expanded plant will strengthen our position as New Zealand’s pre-eminent independent producer of speciality cheese and super premium ice cream”.

According to Mr Butterfield the new development not only increases production capacity of existing products but provides for further product innovation and enhancement of the process of affinage (cheese maturation) which is at the heart of the Kapiti Cheese business.

Chairman of Rangatira Ltd, Mr Norman Geary says, “Rangatira is pleased to be joining Kapiti Cheeses as a cornerstone investor. We recognise Kapiti as one of New Zealand’s best known and highly awarded dairy food manufacturers. We are looking forward to participating in the future growth of Kapiti Cheeses, both in New Zealand and internationally”.

Kapiti’s managing director, Ross McCallum describes the current domestic market as “buoyant” as a direct result of a growing New Zealand passion for speciality cheeses and small indulgences like premium ice cream.

“We are enjoying strong growth domestically, says McCallum. “With much greater capacity in 2001, we look forward to continuing to build our export markets and increasing the portion pack business with international airlines”.

Kapiti products are exported widely in the Asia Pacific region including Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Fiji, Australia, Tahiti and the USA.


ENDS

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