Wednesday 20th Feb, 2019

Mackay Sugar moves on Mossman sale

Embattled miller Mackay Sugar will sell Australia’s northernmost sugar mill back to local growers, six years after it bought the mill off growers for $25 million.

Mackay Sugar, facing a debt pile in the region of $180 million, said on July 20 it had entered into an option agreement with an entity controlled by Mossman and Tablelands canegrowers to facilitate the sale of the Mossman Mill.

“We are very happy to have reached agreement with the Mossman and Tablelands Growers to hand back control of the Mossman Mill,” Mackay Sugar chief executive officer and chairman Mark Day said.

“They are the most appropriate owners of the mill. This transaction will enable us to concentrate on improving milling performance in the Mackay region.”

The 2012 acquisition of the Mossman Mill by Mackay Sugar was questioned by some shareholders, who suggested the company should focus its efforts – and perhaps some of that $25 million in spending – on its three other mills.

No price has been mentioned in public statements for the Mossman Mill, in terms of the current sale.

Mackay Sugar said the transaction was due to be completed shortly after the 2018 crushing season, but noted the option agreement is subject to a number of financial and due diligence conditions.