Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage raising $4.85m as industry recovers from disease.

Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage shareholders have approved a capital-raising plan that includes the Maori Trustee, Te Tumu Paeroa, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council's investment arm each taking a 10.1 per cent stake in the kiwifruit packing business.

The Opotiki-based company, which services kiwifruit growers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions, is raising $4.85 million selling shares to existing shareholders and suppliers, Te Tumu Paeroa, and the council's Quayside Holdings, which owns 54 per cent of Port of Tauranga.

Opotiki Packing is preparing for "significant growth" in kiwifruit processing volume in the next four years from its existing suppliers, as production recovers from the impact of the vine-wasting disease Psa between 2012 and 2014.

This year it began a capital investment programme that includes a new packing line and cool storage facilities at its Opotiki site.

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Te Tumu Paeroa provides services to Maori landowners and manages 100,000ha of Maori land across New Zealand, including about 5000ha in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

"We want to convert other land into high-value and high-performing kiwifruit ventures," said Jamie Tuuta, the Maori Trustee.

Opotiki Packing had 40 existing shareholder allocations, with the largest at 11.6 per cent, and a total of about 3.5 million shares on issue.

The company provides services to 700 canopy hectares of kiwifruit orchards, and processed more than 5.5 million trays of kiwifruit this year.

It says the recovery from Psa is being driven by increased volumes of Zespri SunGold variety fruit, which is more tolerant of the disease.

Zespri has forecast a compound annual growth rate for volume in the industry of 6.4 per cent a year for the five years through until the 2019/20 season.

BusinessDesk