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New Zealand farming cooperative acquires 50% of dairy farm Afimilk for $70 million

Kibbutz Afikim and private equity fund Fortissimo are nearing the closure of a deal with New Zealand farming cooperative LIC

The New Zealand farming cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) is acquiring a 50% stake in the dairy farm systems company Afikim, from Kibbutz Afikim and private equity firm Fortissimo, for $70 million.

Fortissimo is selling its entire stake, 30.5%, while the kibbutz, which holds the remaining 69.5%, is set to sell 19.5% shares of the company, leaving the kibbutz and LIC with an equal stake.

In 2010, the fund paid NIS 40 million (around $10 million at the time) for its stake, according to a then company valuation of NIS 135 million. Including dividends and management fees, Fortissimo is set to see an eightfold return on its investment.

Afimilk develops advanced systems to manage dairy farms. Its innovative Herd Management System transforms Afimilk’s customers into world-leading dairy producers. One of its flagship products is a leg sensor that can provide real-time reports on the cows’ health.

Despite limited grazing land, Israel generated three times the average level of milk solids per kilogram produced in New Zealand.

Afimilk is active in more than 50 countries. The farm’s revenue in 2019 was $55 million, and its EBITDA was $9 million.

LIC cooperative is a farmer-owned that provides genetics solutions for the greater productivity of New Zealand farmers. One of LIC’s shareholders is Frontera, the largest milk producer in the world.

LIC is a century-old herd improvement and agri-technology co-operative. While headquartered in Hamilton, a city on New Zealand’s North Island, it has offices in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, Brazil, and the U.S. The co-operative reported sales of $200 million and a net income of around $60 million for fiscal 2019.

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