$100 million purchase of listed PGG-Wrightson's rural loan book, valued at up to $430 million
LIC supports takeover offer in PGG 20 Apr 2011
New Zealand dairy farmer Co-op, LIC, today confirmed its support for the Agria / New Hope / Ngai Tahu partial takeover offer for a 50.01 % shareholding in PGGW. LIC CEO Mark Dewdney confirmed LIC has supported the Agria bid through a NZ$10m loan to Agria Singapore who is making the current partial takeover offer for PGGW.
The loan is for a term of 18 months. Security for the loan will be provided by Agria Singapore. The LIC loan has been made at commercial interest rates and terms. LIC will appoint one director to the Board of Agria Singapore.
“LIC’s primary strategic interest is in supporting the PGGW AgriTech businesses – Seeds, AgriFeeds, and Grain. LIC has no plan to invest directly in the overall businesses of PGGW (Rural supplies, Real Estate, Livestock and Finance).
“LIC is not becoming a shareholder in either PGGW, or Agria Singapore, and our intention would only be to invest directly into a separate PGGW AgriTech business, if such a structure is ever established by PGGW.“
Agria supports LIC’s involvement and has indicated it would welcome further investment should the opportunity arise.
LIC’s intention is to work with Agria, New Hope, Ngai Tahu and PGGW AgriTech to explore opportunities for all businesses, in the New Zealand and International markets.
International Growth LIC sells its dairy genetics in 22 countries overseas, with its own operations in Australia, the UK, Ireland and the USA.
“One country where we’ve continued to search for the right domestic distribution partner is China. We recognise the significant growth potential in China – and believe we’ve found very capable partners in Agria and New Hope,” Mark Dewdney said.
LIC will explore the opportunity to distribute its dairy genetics in China with New Hope and Agria. (New Hope is China’s leading Agribusiness with annual sales of $US 6.5b)
Proposed Agria shareholding LIC supports Agria’s proposed 50.01% shareholding. Mark Dewdney said “a strong cornerstone shareholder in PGGW will allow management to focus on core activities and customers. The remaining 49.99% shareholding of an important New Zealand agricultural technology business would remain with local investors.
“The partial takeover offer by Agria would also mean that major decisions or transactions affecting the PGGW business would be contingent on the support of minority shareholders.
New Zealand shareholders will continue to have influence over significant future transactions.” Ends.