TWO weeks after announcing it was selling its Beaufort River Meats abattoir, Wellard has announced that it has received and accepted an offer for its feed mill and sheep feeding operations in WA.
Wellard said the decision to divest these assets was consistent with its strategy to hone its focus on its core activities – livestock vessel chartering, export of feeder and slaughter cattle to Asia and export of breeding and dairy cattle.
Wellard executive chairman John Klepec said while each of the assets were quality businesses, they were not core to its shipping and cattle business.
“The sales will allow management to focus solely on the divisions that are the big drivers of Wellard’s revenue and earnings,” Mr Klepec said.
The company has executed a binding term sheet with Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) to purchase the feed mill at Wongan Hills and the infrastructure and leasehold for its sheep Pre Export Quarantine facility at Baldivis.
International Meat Company recently purchased Beaufort River Meats abattoir at Kojonup for $8 million, which included assets and working capital.
The deal was expected to be finalised in February, 2019.
The new purchases by LSS are also expected to be completed next February and are contingent on the receipt of various approvals and licence transferrals.
The feed mill produces 50,000 tonnes of specially formulated feed pellets each year, primarily for Wellard’s pre-export quarantine and ships.
They could also be supplied to charterers of the vessels if required.
The abattoir has the ability to process 2500 sheep per day, was Halal accredited and approved to export chilled and frozen lamb and sheepmeat to the Middle East, Taiwan, the United States, Canada, Mexico, West Indies, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore and China, according to Wellard’s website.
Wellard has only undertaken a handful of sheep shipments in the past five years, which meant the facilities had been underutilised.
The company will still be exposed to the volatility of the live sheep trade through its large, multi-purpose (sheep and cattle) livestock carriers the Ocean Drover and Ocean Shearer, which are suitable for the long haul trade.
Wellard has been open during the past year that its future was in chartering vessels and the live cattle trade (slaughter and feeder steers to Asia, breeding and dairy).
It had been leasing the Baldivis Pre Export Quarantine facility, known as La Bergerie, as the facility was not included in the original IPO.
Wellard said the sale price was confidential.