By Suze Metherell
The owner of the country's largest poultry business, Tegel Foods, has approached a number of investment banks as it looks to sell the company.
Investment bankers have confirmed to BusinessDesk that pan-Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners is considering a trade sale or initial public offering of the Auckland-based poultry business.
The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday reported the sale could fetch about AU$900 million (NZ$984.57 million).
Affinity bought Tegel from Pacific Equity Partners in 2011 for a reported $600M, and since then has divested the company's property, including the sale of two long lease chicken processing plants to buyers including Wellington-based Caniwi Capital for $60M in July 2013.
Tegel reported a profit of $14.1M on sales of $517.2M in the year ended April 27, 2014, the last accounts filed by holding company Ross Group Holdings.
The majority of New Zealand's chicken industry is owned by private equity investors after Inghams Enterprises (NZ), the country's second-largest poultry producer, was sold, along with its Australian parent Ingham Enterprises, to TPG for AU$880M in June 2013.
Dutch agricultural lender Rabobank has forecast global demand for poultry will increase 60 percent to become the most consumed meat globally by 2030.