Wellard is due to receive a AUD$15.8m repayment from its largest shareholder WGH Holdings, a company controlled by Wellard’s CEO Mauro Balzarini, within the next seven days. In addition to around AUD$500,000 worth of interest, the cash Wellard is set to receive will shake up the structure of its shareholders.
Thanks to an earlier agreement with China’s Fulida Group Holdings, Wellard will transfer 66.32 million shares in the company to Fulida, when the refinancing of WGH Holdings is finalised. This move will make the textile manufacture Wellard’s second-largest shareholder, with a 16.58% stake in the Australian grain and livestock exporter.
WGH Holdings will remain the largest shareholder in Wellard, with its 80m shares representating a 20% slice of a business that posted AUD$14.8m in full-year profits on 31 August.
“I am pleased that WGH will be in position to settle the separation payment due to Wellard,” said Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini in a press statement.
“This transaction demonstrates that support for Wellard from long-term investors remains strong. We welcome Fulida, who has shown a consistent interest in our industry over a long period, as a significant shareholder in Wellard, giving it exposure to the full international beef supply chain into China and other countries. That Fulida has taken an equity interest in Wellard, and agreed to voluntarily escrow its shares, highlights its belief in the long term future of our business, our industry and the potential that China represents.”
On the attractiveness of China that Balzarini mentioned, Fulida and Wellard are also working together on a joint venture to supply and market Australian beef in China. Following a deal in 2015, Wellard is helping build and design feedlots and an abattoir for Fulida to fatten and process Australian cattle in China.