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Delighted With New Ovita Shareholder Agreement

Media Release

Meat & Wool New Zealand Delighted With New Ovita Shareholder Agreement

June 15, 2006

Meat & Wool New Zealand says it’s delighted with today’s announcement on the re-configuration of the Ovita Research Consortium.

“The move is positive and will serve to create a more focused, streamlined and efficient operation,” says Meat & Wool New Zealand CEO, Mark Jeffries.

Mr Jeffries said since the Consortium had been formed the three owners had all changed their businesses significantly, so the separation of Ovita into more clearly defined business streams was a logical development.

Meat & Wool New Zealand had been looking at its investment in Ovita for some time and now wanted to concentrate only on discoveries that would deliver on-farm benefits to its levy payers, he said.

The on-going research work of the Consortium would now be carried out by Ovita – a joint venture between Meat & Wool New Zealand and AgResearch – with matched investment funding from the Government.

Under the new arrangement, Meat & Wool New Zealand will have a 75 per cent shareholding in Catapult – a company that delivers genetic analysis to farmers so they can access Ovita’s research outcomes including gene markers for identification of animals with beneficial traits.

Meat & Wool New Zealand will also continue its investment in parasite research and the commercialisation of anthelmentic products from earlier work undertaken by Ovita. This will ensure new products reach the New Zealand market as soon as possible to help farmers deal with the production challenges of internal parasites in sheep and beef.

Overall the changes means that Meat & Wool New Zealand would continue to invest in areas focussed on products and services that were of direct benefit to farmers, Mr Jeffries said.

ENDS

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