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LIC to sell deer subsidiary to Southland farmers

25 July 2017

LIC to sell deer subsidiary to Southland farmers

Dairy farmer-owned co-operative, LIC, is selling its Deer Improvement subsidiary business.

The going concern sale is expected to be completed on 5 October 2017, and includes the 390ha Southland farm at Balfour, artificial breeding collection and laboratory facilities and the herd of 2000+ high genetic merit animals.

LIC is the leading supplier of artificial breeding and herd improvement services for New Zealand’s dairy industry. Approximately three-quarters of the country’s dairy cows are sired by an LIC bull.

The co-op established the Deer Improvement subsidiary in 2003 as part of its multi-species strategy, which identified deer as an industry which could benefit from the co-op’s experience and transferable knowledge in animal breeding.

Since then, Deer Improvement has contributed an average 15kg liveweight gain per animal over the ten years to 2014 (based on yearling weight), which is highly valuable for the venison market. LIC’s reproduction technologies have also increased the number of high genetic merit stags available for deer farmers to purchase. Deer Improvement stags dominate the industry’s Deer Select database.

The business employs six staff in Balfour and Queenstown.

LIC chief financial officer, Linda Cooper, says the sale is mutually beneficial to the country’s dairy and deer industries.

“It allows us to concentrate on our dairy business and re-invest funds back into areas that are more focused on adding value for our dairy farmer shareholders.

“LIC has generated significant genetic gain for the deer industry with Deer Improvement and the sale is a natural progression for the business. The new owners are great advocates for the deer industry, and will take the business into the next phase of its growth,” says Ms Cooper.

The buyers are South Canterbury sheep, beef and deer farmers Tom and Samantha Macfarlane and associated parties. The Macfarlane’s will manage daily operations.

“As committed clients of Deer Improvement in recent years, Sam and I are enthusiastic about building on the great work the team have already carried out in venison genetics,” said Tom Macfarlane.

“We look forward to working with present and future clients to ensure continued gains for the New Zealand deer herd and the deer industry.”


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