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Q&A: New Zealand Rural Land Co.’s initial public offering (IPO)


New Zealand Rural Land Company Limited (NZRLC)—a company formed for the purpose of buying rural land across New Zealand’s agricultural sector and leasing it to high-performing farm operators—announced they’ll be listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Q&A: New Zealand Rural Land Co.’s initial public offering (IPO)

We had a kōrero with Rob Campbell, Chair of NZRLC, and Richard Milsom, Director of New Zealand Rural Land Management (NZRLM) to find out more about NZRLC and why they’re doing an IPO. Here’s what they had to say!

What does NZRLC do?

We purchase and lease quality farmland to high-performing farm operators. Initially, these will be dairy farms, as there’s a dairy land price opportunity. In time, we expect to own and lease in other agricultural and horticultural markets.

Our vision is to be a long-term owner exercising responsible stewardship over quality rural land. We also want to assist top-quality operators who want to devote their skills and capital to farming best practice. 

How did NZRLC start? 

Richard Milsom, Director of New Zealand Rural Land Management (NZRLM).
Richard Milsom, Director of New Zealand Rural Land Management (NZRLM).

We’ve been working for some time to create a business which reflects modern best-practice farming. We believe strongly in the future of Aotearoa New Zealand as a quality food producer. By quality, we mean not just the products, but also the sustainability of the practice for land, animals, and climate.

Recently the prices for large-scale dairy land holdings have become more attractive. Prospects for dairy products are strong, and there are some great operators whose model suit leasing land.

Who are the founders and key people involved?

Rob Campbell, Chair of NZRLC.
Rob Campbell, Chair of NZRLC.

The founders are Chris Swasbrook, Richard Milsom, and Hayden Dillon. They have a strong mixture of capital markets and farm investment experience.

Rob Campbell is our Independent Chair. He has extensive experience with listed-company boards and large-scale land leasing.

Sarah Kennedy is an Independent Director who has strong dairy farm development and primary product experience. 

Why are you doing an IPO?

The IPO offers us the chance to scale up with speed. We’ll be able to take up the existing land sales opportunities and match them with lessee operators who are ready to go.

How does your business make money?

The model is very simple. We own the land and lease it long term to farm operators chosen for their farming practice excellence and financial strength.

Investors will get dividend income from the leases, and over time, we also expect we’ll experience capital value growth in the land.

Who are your competitors, and what’s your competitive advantage?

There are no direct competitors. Farm operations on leasehold land do exist (especially overseas where they are quite common). 

Our advantage will lie in the simplicity of the model and the strong operator partnerships which we’re building.

What are the key risks or challenges that NZRLC currently faces?

Currently, the biggest challenge is to have a successful IPO. This is not a “get rich quick” scheme. We consider it a long-term investment which will deliver fair returns and support best-practice farming. 

What are the key opportunities for NZRLC?

Right now, the key opportunity lies in large-scale quality dairy land. As other types of land and production experience cyclical or regulatory pressure, opportunity will come in other areas.

Find out more

You can find out more about NZRLC on their website.

Before investing, make sure to do your due diligence, consider your risk appetite, and look at how these shares might fit within your wider investment strategy and Portfolio. 

Ok, now for the legal bit

Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.

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