Olam Stumps Up Money For NZFSU

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay says it will use short-term financial support from Olam International to complete the development of its existing farms as part of the takeover deal.

The Singaporean food and possessions group, which is looking to buy at least half of Farming Systems at 70 cents a share, dedicated to securing a short-term credit facility for the farm manager, according to a letter to chairman John Parker released to the stock exchange.

Olam said it will expand a long-term funding strategy, though its initial view is that the cash should be raised in a pro-rata rights issue, as contrasting to taking on more debt.

"NZS requires about US$60 million to complete development of its existing farms, and Olam's view was that expansion should be advanced so as not to prejudice future productivity and profitability," Farming Systems said.

Olam upped its price to 70 cents a share from 55 cents after Uruguay's Union Agriculture Group put in a rival bid, while Farming Systems sought a capital inoculation from a third party.

UAG subsequently dropped out of the race, and Farming Systems has stopped its cooperation with the other group. The Singaporean company has 40.26%.

Farming Systems' board at first knocked back Olam's proposal, but after the augmented offer and commitment short-term funding and the company's South American strategy, gave an support for shareholders to sell part of their investment.

As a condition of the endorsement, Olam told Farming Systems' lender it didn't purpose to the sale of the Don Pepe farm property, a requirement to secure its release from bank security.

The shares were unaffected at 69 cents on the NZX today. Bookmark and Share