A PLAN to list one of Leeton’s biggest employers, SunRice, on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has been deemed as “the way of the future”.
Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) president Jeremy Morton has thrown his support behind the plan, which will soon be put to members to vote on.
The stakeholder organisation believes the ASX proposal will allow SunRice to raise the capital required to implement its five-year growth strategy, which will aim to deliver a more competitive price for rice growers, ensuring it remains a viable option within farming systems and securing a successful future for the industry in the Riverina.
“As you know, irrigation farming within the Riverina has been impacted by a number of external pressures over the last two decades,” Mr Morton said.
“Like all businesses, our future sustainability and success is subject to our ability to adapt to the opportunities and challenges we face.
“We do not believe what is being proposed changes the fundamental purpose of SunRice.
“Rather, we feel this proposal enhances SunRice’s ability to achieve its overarching purpose of receiving, processing and marketing rice, in order to achieve long-term improvement in both the returns for growers and the profitability of the company.”
In June, the SunRice board announced plans to move the listing of its B class shares from the National Stock Exchange (NSX) to the ASX to improve access to external capital and support the company’s growth strategy.
If approved by shareholders, the ASX listing will remove current B class share ownership restrictions and the 5 per cent shareholding cap.
This will allow anyone to invest in SunRice B class shares, up to a new maximum 10 per cent shareholding cap.
The ASX proposal will be taken to a shareholder vote at the time of the SunRice annual general meeting on September 20.
The Rice Marketing Board has also said it has found no reason to expect the plan would adversely impact on the current vesting arrangements.
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