Rockit Global has announced the completion of a successful capital raise, with Māori investment group, Ngāi Tahu Holdings, taking a 6 per cent stake in Rockit, and Punchbowl Investments-led group, PB Rock, lifting its combined Punchbowl and PB Rock stake to 15 per cent of the innovative branded miniature apple company.
Pioneer Capital remains the largest stakeholder in Rockit Global, holding around 40 per cent.
Rockit chairman John Loughlin said an investment was completed by Ngāi Tahu last week, and that all parties are extremely pleased with the outcome.
“Ngāi Tahu Holdings expressed an interest in Rockit early on in the process, recognising there was alignment with its strategic goals,” said Loughlin.
“We also see great strategic value in this relationship – value that stretches far beyond the benefit of the significant investment Ngāi Tahu Holdings has made in our business.
“Ngāi Tahu Holdings has ambitious plans, and we envisage an exciting future with its support,” he added.
Chief executive of Ngāi Tahu Holdings, Mike Pohio, said this investment is one worth celebrating.
“This opportunity will benefit both sides by providing Rockit with more capacity for future orchard developments, as well as further diversifying and increasing the growth profile of our portfolio,” Pohio said.
“This investment is consistent with our overall strategy and is a wonderful opportunity to work alongside a fast-growing, innovative New Zealand company with a strong team.”
The capital-raising process began in late 2020 and took place over three stages, beginning with offers to growers and existing investors.
Both offers were oversubscribed, showing the progress Rockit has made in developing key offshore markets and establishing world-leading technical innovation.
Foundation investor Punchbowl Investments, along with its PB Rock group of investors – leading investors in the kiwifruit sector – seized the opportunity to build on its investment and cement its position in Rockit Global.
“The Punchbowl group is pleased to be taking one of the lead roles in the capital raising,” said Punchbowl’s executive chairman, Rob Craig.
“We have supported Rockit at every turn and we are pleased to see the business taking another step forward. Rockit is an exciting opportunity and is proving to be a very strong player in the global premium apple sector.”
Loughlin highlighted that Rockit has been on a sharp global growth trajectory and that the capital-raise enables several high-profile projects to surge forward.
“Our business is expanding rapidly, and with growth comes the requirement for capital,” Loughlin said.
“Our state-of-the-art packhouse and headquarters located in Irongate, Hastings is nearing completion, and its second phase will take a large portion of this funding.
“We’ll also look to establish our own orchards – which diversifies our business – and support strategic global sales and marketing activity. As well as these investments in physical assets, we are also investing heavily in our brand and people capability.
“We see the investments made by Ngāi Tahu Holdings and PB Rock, coupled with the support from our existing investors and grower investors, as hugely impactful and we’re excited to have them on board,” concluded Loughlin.