June 4, 2012
Ruralco Holdings has acquired a 10.1 per cent stake in Elders but both companies say there is no current intention of making a takeover bid.
In a statement to the ASX on Friday, Elders said it remained fully committed to the execution of its strategic plan and continued to believe it has the capacity “to create significant value for all shareholders well above the current share price”.
Ruralco Managing Director John Maher said the acquisition was a strategic investment.
“Elders is a major Australian agribusiness with a national network and a well-recognised brand,” he said.
“The investment in Elders is part of Ruralco’s strategy to strengthen its participation in the agribusiness sector and hopefully ensure that we have an opportunity to play a role in shaping its future structure.
“Whilst this is a key strategic investment for Ruralco our focus remains clearly on the continued strong performance of our existing operations.
“It is business as usual for our people and customers.”
Ruralco purchased Kingaroy-based BGA AgriServices in September last year. It is also the parent company to the Combined Rural Traders group (CRT).
Last month it reported a net profit after tax of $10.0 million for the half-year ended March 31, down slightly on the same period last year. Revenue was $534.7 million, up 10 per cent on the corresponding period. Gross profit was up 9 per cent to $113 million.
Chairman Richard England said an interim, fully-franked dividend of 10 cents would be paid to shareholders.