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Sugar deal sweetens the tooth for Valley mills

Sunshine Sugar-Manildra deal is sweet for local sugar mills.
Sunshine Sugar-Manildra deal is sweet for local sugar mills. Adam Hourigan

THE recent Sunshine Sugar-Manildra deal has already led to a major export deal with a Japanese company.

The Manildra Group bought half of Sunshine Sugar's milling operations on July 1, winning the backing of 83% of the cooperative's growers.

Manildra-Harwood Sugars CEO Chris Connors said the Japanese business representatives met growers at Broadwater, where they were shown new varieties of cane and shared a barbecue.

"The deal is a positive restructure," Mr Connors said.

"It's beneficial right across the board and the banks see it is a positive move.

"The deal increases our borrowing power and allows us to present as one unit from grower to milling."

Mr Connors said joining with an Australian-owned company like the Manildra Group let them present a better story to their customers.

The Manildra Group started as a single flour mill and is now a privately-owned, billion-dollar company.

Mr Connors said 83% of the vote was a positive result.

"However, there were still growers who had concerns and we need to recognise that."

Manildra Group general manager Peter Simpson said he was looking forward to continuing to work with Sunshine Sugars.

"We are the only manufacturer of locally produced, certified sustainable, raw and refined sugar products and they are credentials that the business is very proud of," Mr Simpson said.

"The merger flies in the face of the trend in the Australian Sugar industry where overseas companies now own the major part of the industry.

"It is a far cry from the conflicts occurring in Queensland and we are looking forward to developing this relationship further."

New South Wales Sugar chairman Ian Causley, who is also the new Sunshine Sugar chairman, said the transaction formed part of Sunshine Sugar's overall business plan.

"The principles that have been adopted across our business of teamwork, integrity, excellence, accountability and safety, which were developed by our people, form the basis of all we do," Mr Causley said.

Topics:  deal exports finance sugar



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