New Zealand King Salmon a winner in NZVCA Growth Capital Investment of the Year awards

Successful investments by two private equity firms in New Zealand King Salmon and Brew Group won awards from The New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (NZVCA) as the best Investment of the year at its annual conference in Queenstown.

‘The NZVCA Investment of Year Awards recognise the private equity and venture capital firms that help owners to grow New Zealand businesses through operational improvement and investment performance,’ says NZVCA Executive Director, Colin McKinnon.

Entries were judged on companies’ contributions to the economy, employment, innovation, consistency and industry competitiveness, each company’s financial performance and returns to investors.

Mr McKinnon adds: ‘The winners of our 2017 awards are examples of private capital partnering with companies to improve growth and performance, to share expertise and to provide capital. This ultimately delivers improved productivity, creates jobs and contributes to the national economy.’


INVESTMENT OF THE YEAR over $150 million

Awarded to Direct Capital for their investment in New Zealand King Salmon

INVESTMENT OF THE YEAR under $150 million

Awarded to Pencarrow Private Equity for their investment in Brew Group

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) is the world’s largest aquaculture producer of the premium King salmon species, accounting for more than 50% of global production. The company harvests and processes more than 7,000 metric tonnes of King salmon per year, across its vertically integrated operations in the Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Golden Bay and Canterbury.

In 2008, funds managed by Direct Capital (including Direct Capital III, Pohutukawa Private Equity, BioPacificVentures, and co-investment from Accident Compensation Corporation) invested to support a growth plan that would see a step change in production and an international launch and roll out of its premium Ora King brand.  At the time the strategy was particularly bold, and even today, protein is rarely branded on menus, let alone on Michelin star menus that now proudly feature Ora King.

In order to access further capital required to develop new water space NZKS completed a dual listing on the NZX and ASX in 2016.  The initial public offering was highly successful – being one of only three IPOs during 2016 – with the company currently trading at a 78% premium to its listing price of $1.12 per share, as well as a recent 5 cent per share dividend.  At the IPO, NZKS made a priority offer to ‘Top of the South’ investors and is particularly pleased that almost 400 local people have benefited from the strong share price performance.

Colin McKinnon, Executive Director,
New Zealand Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, New Zealand