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Pest Enterprises gains new partners

Pest Enterprises gains new partners

State-owned enterprise AgriQuality Ltd has agreed to invest $1 million in Target Pest Enterprises Ltd, Environment Canterbury’s pest company, in exchange for a 45 percent shareholding. A further $109,000 or 4.9 percent is being invested in Target Pest by a newly-formed, staff shareholding company, leaving ECan with 50.1% ownership.

ECan chairman Sir Kerry Burke said bringing in a significant, national partner like AgriQuality was a good move for both businesses and for Canterbury region ratepayers and land-owners. “There are strong synergies between Target Pest Enterprises and AgriQuality. Target has a strong network of operational staff, particularly in Canterbury but further afield as well. AgriQuality brings with it biosecurity expertise, more diversified pest management opportunities nationwide and an excellent and well-established relationship network across the industry."

Target Pest was established by the regional council in 1999 to ensure the region had good local capability in the event of an upswing in rabbit numbers as is currently happening and to control the pests which spread bovine tuberculosis. When it was first set up the business had a turnover of $2 million per annum, now up to $15 million. It has a strong presence in the South Island and can look to increase its business nationally with the broader skill-set offered by AgriQuality. Target Pest has eight depots in Canterbury and 200 field staff.

AgriQuality, with 800 staff nation-wide, provides quality assurance and biosecurity services for the food and agricultural industries.

“The proposed new ownership will continue to ensure we have a strong level of pest-preparedness and future-proofing for pests and diseases in Canterbury region,” said Sir Kerry. “It will also provide a broader capital base with loans to Target Pest shared with the new partners, according to their shareholdings.”

The new shareholding arrangement is expected to have gained all the necessary approvals by the end of July 2006.


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