Fulida has good financial news for Wellard

Chinese partner stumps up cash to keep exporter afloat

Fulida has good financial news for Wellard
Wellard has a new large shareholder


Livestock transport and logistics firm Wellard looks to have kept the wolf from its door with a cash injection from Chinese firm Fulida Holdings.

Ostensibly a non-government textiles focused operation, Fulida will pay $15.8 million to take $16.58 per cent of Wellard after negotiations with Wellard’s largest shareholder, WGH Holdings, owned by Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini.

The cash plus a $500,000 in interest, due in seven days’ time, will be settle a separation payment due to Wellard as WGH seeks to divest and will effectively refinance that company while leaving it with 20 per cent of the firm.

"I am pleased that WGH will be in a position to settle the separation payment due to Wellard," he said.

"This transaction demonstrates that support for Wellard remains strong.

"We welcome Fulida, who has shown a consistent interest in our industry over a long period, as a significant shareholder in Wellard, giving it exposure to the full international beef supply chain into China and other countries.

"That Fulida has taken an equity interest in Wellard, and agreed to voluntarily escrow its shares, highlights its belief in the long term future of our business, or industry and the potential that China represents."

Wellard notes that Hangzhou-headquartered Fulida has sought to diversify recently.

Until now, the high-point in its relationship with Wellard has been a feed-lots and abattoir joint venture in China for live shipments from Australia, to be operational at year’s end.

The investment comes after a torrid period in the wake of Wellard’s listing on the Australia Securities Exchange which saw its share price fall from $1.39 to 23 cents on Friday before jumping to 31 cents early this afternoon on the news.

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