Livestock Improvement Corp said it's in advanced talks to buy half of Israeli dairy farm management firm Afimilk Agricultural Cooperative.

The New Zealand dairy herd genetics company confirmed the negotiations were underway after Israeli publication CTech reported LIC was close to buying 50 per cent of the firm for US$70 million ($109.2m).

Private equity firm Fortissimo Capital – which owns New Zealand telecommunications firm 4RF – would sell its 30.5 per cent stake while Kibbutz Afikum would sell 19.5 per cent, retaining a half-share, CTech reported.

"The discussions with the Afimilk shareholders are incomplete and ongoing, and there is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded," LIC said in a statement.


Trading in the farmer-owned shares was halted pending an announcement by LIC about the deal or when the market opens on Thursday.

The shares closed at 80 cents yesterday and have declined 5.9 per cent so far this year.

Afimilk develops and manufactures systems for dairy farming and herd management, and operates in more than 50 countries.

LIC is known for its breeding programmes, but it also offers services such as satellite pasture management, and data management systems.