Growers are due to take back control of Mossman Mill.
Growers are due to take back control of Mossman Mill. Cairns Post

Cane growers set to buy back Mackay Sugar mill

MACKAY Sugar Limited has announced it will sell off one of its mills to cane growers, if all goes to plan.

The company issued a statement on Friday afternoon revealing it had entered an agreement to sell Mossman Mill to Mossman and Tablelands growers.

A Mackay Sugar spokeswoman said the organisation had entered a "put and call option agreement with Far Northern Milling Pty Ltd" (an entity controlled by the growers) to facilitate the sale of the mill, which started as a grower owned co-operative sugar mill back in 1894.

The Option Agreement was subject to a number of conditions, including the buyer completing satisfactory due diligence and obtaining finance for the acquisition, the spokeswoman added.

"The agreement allows either Mackay Sugar or Far Northern Milling to require the sale of the Mossman Mill subject to satisfaction of these conditions," she said.

Accompanying all Mossman Mill assets, Far Northern Milling would assume all employee entitlements and other historical obligations linked to Mossman Mill.

The executive chairman and chief executive officer of Mackay Sugar, Mark Day said the company's board were pleased with the result.

"We are very happy to have reached agreement with the Mossman and Tablelands Growers to return control to them," he said.

"They are the most appropriate owners of the Mill and this transaction will enable us to concentrate on improving milling performance in the Mackay region."

The transaction will be completed soon after the end of the 2018 crushing season, if it is ultimately successful.

Mossman Mill, which has a maximum production of 1.1 million tonnes of cane, is located at Mossman, which is about 75 kilometres north of Cairns.

Mackay Sugar's other mills include Farleigh, Marian and Racecourse.