MyFarm $13M Rockit apple investment offer closes oversubscribed
By Tina Morrison
Dec. 27 (BusinessDesk) - MyFarm Investments, which pools funds for rural investment, said its $13 million offer for growing miniature Rockit snack apples closed oversubscribed.
The company said its offer, under the Rakete Orchards Limited Partnership, closed on Dec. 15 having attracted 67 investors with an average investment of $195,000. The partnership will lease and fund the planting of 55 hectares of the Rockit apple variety across four orchard blocks in the Heretaunga Plains of Hawkes Bay, the only planting of new orchards of Rockit apple trees in the country in 2018.
Rockit apples, the small sweet snack apple packaged in a distinctive plastic tube, were developed in New Zealand and are grown under licence in nine countries and sold at airports, sports stadiums and cafes in 29 countries. Rockit Global is struggling to grow sufficient apples to meet global demand and in 2017 the miniature apples sold out 10 weeks earlier than the previous season despite a 40 percent lift in production.
"The enthusiasm of investors' response, especially at this time of year, shows New Zealanders understand and want to share in great brand stories like Rockit," said MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters.
Rockit Global holds the worldwide exclusive licence for the apples and will provide the trees, orchard management services, packing and storing, and marketing and sale of the apples. Rakete Orchards will lease the land, with a term of 18 years plus two rights of renewal of five years each, suiting the production of the trademarked apple which has a further 22 years to run under its plant variety rights.
Watters said 25 staff from MyFarm and Rockit Global had invested in the partnership through a special company set up to give them access to the offer.
MyFarm was set up in 1990, initially investing in dairy farms which it syndicated to investors. It has since diversified into sheep and beef farms, horticulture, manuka honey and rural commercial property and has more than $500 million of rural assets under management.