Sunday, August 14, 2022

Blue Sky Meats looks to invest in capex

Neal Wallace

Noted Auckland lawyer Mai Chen has joined the board of Southern Lamb Investments following its takeover of Southland-based Blue Sky Meats Ltd.

Southern Lamb Investments (SLI), jointly owned by Scott and Jocelyn O’Donnell’s ODFI Ltd and Andrew Lowe Trustees, now owns 74.87% of Blue Sky Meats (BSM).

The other shareholders are NZ Binxi Foods Ltd, 19.84%, and 72 other shareholders who jointly own 5.29%.

Company chairman Scott O’Donnell says one issue that prompted the takeover was how to fund delayed – but needed – capital expenditure at the Woodlands plant, north of Invercargill.

The ownership structure prevented shareholders investing in capital expenditure without triggering the takeover code.

That necessary investment can now be made, which will initially see some maintenance expenditure with major upgrades to follow.

As with other meat companies, O’Donnell says labour and covid issues mean BSM will have a short end of season shut down of just three weeks this year, when the work will have to be completed.

Alongside Chen, the other new director is Reece Oliver, a senior manager with HW Richardson Group.

They join existing directors O’Donnell, Andy Lowe (SLI), Sarah Brown (independent) and Arron Hoyle (BX Foods).

O’Donnell says Chen has international and governance experience and connections through Asia, which will prove important.

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