Australian non-bank lender Merricks Capital says it has completed a $140 million refinancing of dairy farming enterprise Van Leeuwen Group, signalling its launch into the New Zealand market just as the Reserve Bank is set to announce tougher new rules on banks’ capital requirements.

The dairy business – owned by Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen – comprises over 7500 hectares of land.

The group currently milks over 10,000 cows across 11 dairy farms, producing about 5 million kg of milk solids per annum. Van Leeuwen Group was an early adopter of robotic milking systems.

A South Canterbury farm owned by the group was one of the first to be identified as having the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis, which resulted in a nationwide animal cull in an attempt, still ongoing, to wipe it out.

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