New South Wales processor Bindaree Beef has sold 51 percent of the business to wealthy Hong Kong based Australian citizens, the Hui family and their investment firm, Archstone Investment.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, has been approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Described by Bindaree as a strategic joint venture, the agreement settled earlier today.
As Beef Central has reported earlier, Bindaree Beef has been seeking investment in the business for several years, including a $120 million agreement with Delici which fell over in 2016. In November last year, Beef Central reported that Bindaree had re-opened talks with potential investors in Asia.
Bindaree founder JR McDonald said the partnership would provide the capital needed to grow the business’s current operations and supported its strategy of supplying premium branded beef products to global and domestic markets.
Beef Central understands discussions between the two parties started three years ago.
The Hui family is led by Hui Mang Mau, whose primary business interests are in property development in Asia. He was ranked third in the 2015 BRW Australian Rich List, with a fortune worth A$6.89 billion. The Hui family controls large listed property businesses on the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.
The family already has reasonably significant investments in cattle properties in Western Australia, but their location mean those assets are unlikely to be integrated in any way with the Bindaree investment. However the Hui family has signalled their intention to make further acquisitions in Australian cattle production, presumably in the eastern states closer to the Inverell, NSW abattoir site.
“After lengthy discussions, we are delighted to have the right partner in place,” Bindaree’s JR McDonald said.
“Our joint vision for Bindaree is to create a more competitive company that can cater for both local and international beef markets. We will rapidly expand our reach while also upgrading our facilities, supply chain and distribution,” he said.
“The investor consortium has a successful investment track record and we are confident in their commitment to the growth of the Bindaree business,” Mr McDonald said.
It’s no secret that Bindaree has intentions to move into retail-ready beef production, and the cash injection will heighten the prospects of that project being started soon.
The directors from the consortium said they were attracted to Bindaree’s established supply chain and the opportunity to further develop the longstanding family enterprise.
“The demand for beef in South East Asia and China over the next 15 years is significant, and the new joint venture has the combined expertise to leverage this opportunity,” they said.
Bindaree currently has an operating capacity of around 900 head per day, but like almost all beef plans in Australia, has been operating on greatly reduced capacity for the past two years due to severe cattle shortage.
Under the new collaborative partnership, Bindaree’s management team will continue to be led by group chief executive officer, Andrew McDonald, who will run all aspects of the company’s operations, with the new partners contributing to the setting of strategy.
Beef Central understands a seven-member board will be formed: three from the original Bindaree camp, and four from the Hui/Archstone Investment side.
Sanger Australia will retain a minority shareholding in the Bindaree business, along with several other small investors.