Invercargill-based meat processor Alliance Group is seeking to cash in on the world pet food boom with a $15 million dollar purchase of a half share in the Scales Group subsidiary, Meateor.
Scales managing director Andy Borland said the 50/50 joint venture was about developing New Zealand as the premier supplier of pet food proteins.
"We think the venture provides a number of benefits to the entire New Zealand petfood-supply industry including as an avenue for the industry to improve scale; improved relationships with customers including the ability to commit to longer-term relationships; an ability to move into higher value and added value ingredients; and ability to leverage extended customer and supplier networks," he said in a statement.
The new joint venture business is valued at $30 million and is funded equally by both partners.
Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor said the investment in Meateor reflected the co-operative's strategic focus on creating value-add solutions.
"It will mean Alliance can capture more value for each animal, shifting us further up the value chain," Surveyor said.
"The business provides us with immediate and direct access to the highly attractive and growing global pet food market," he said.
The investment coincides with a time of major growth in the global pet food industry.
"Global sales in the sector are forecast to reach up to $134 billion by 2022 and we want to make sure New Zealand farmers are a part of this growth," Surveyor said.
Alliance is the world's biggest exporter of sheep meat while NZX-listed Scales is a diversified agribusiness group.