Mackay Sugar will follow the recent series of shed meetings with more in the New Year.
Mackay Sugar will follow the recent series of shed meetings with more in the New Year. Campbell Gellie

Mackay Sugar's growers in meetings over Nordzucker offer

SHED meetings held throughout the Mackay Sugar growing region have helped answer questions and provide clarity to growers about the non-binding indicative recapitalisation proposal made by German-based sugar manufacturer Nordzucker AG.

The proposal, which was announced to growers at the Mackay Sugar annual general meeting on October 30, remains subject to finalising a binding agreement. Mackay Sugar has agreed to an exclusivity period until the end of December.

"The non-binding indicative proposal has been endorsed, in principle, by Mackay Sugar board," chairman and CEO Mark Day said in a statement at the time.

The shed meetings, Mr Day said, were aimed at getting growers together to have the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns and gain more clarity on the proposal and the processes surrounding it.

"We have had some really good questions and points raised at these meetings," he said.

"We have seen reasonable numbers of growers showing up to the meetings, and the more who come along, the more information we can get out into the growing community."

Mr Day said if a binding offer is made to Mackay Sugar, and the board recommends it, then the offer would be put to growers to vote on. A detailed information package would be provided and more shed meetings will be held prior to that vote being required.

He said a 75 per cent majority vote in two stages, was required to enable any transaction to go ahead.

"That's why it is so important that our growers and shareholders are completely clear, and have a full understanding, of what this means to them and the future of the industry."

Mr Day said the shed meetings, which attracted 355 growers last week, were also an opportunity for growers to raise matters and provide feedback on the 2018 crushing season.

He said while a lot of the feedback had been positive - especially around supply and overall mill performance, in comparison to other years - it was a chance for people to get a few matters off their chest and to provide growers with more information on the mills' condition and performance."

"These meetings are always a valuable chance for growers to tell it like it is and we value the fact they speak up and tell us."

Mr Day said the final tonnage for the 2018 crushing came to 4.67Mt (compared to 4.97Mt in 2017), and a PRS of 14.30 (compared to 13.37 in 2017).

More shed meetings and industry consultations are expected in the New Year.