Ebro improves Ricegrowers bid

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 17th February 2011

Spanish food processor Ebro Foods has improved its A$600m offer for Ricegrowers, the Australian company that sells through the SunRice brand.In a letter to shareholders, Sunrice chairman Gerry Lawson said on Friday (11 February) that Ebro would guarantee to purchase all the medium-grain rice grown in Australia at the benchmark price of California rice for seven years, up from five previously.

Ebro would then automatically roll this over for another seven years in the absence of a material adverse change in business or regulatory conditions, Lawson said.

The Californian benchmark is usually the highest priced in the world.

Lawson said the extended commitment will provide growers with greater certainty over the purchase of their crops and the price to be paid by Ebro, adding that the revised seven-year rolling commitment will provide “greater certainty to growers than the SunRice Board could give under current circumstances”.

Shareholders will vote in May on whether to accept the offer.
just-food is the world’s leading portal for the global pre-packaged food and retail industries. Its daily mix of breaking news, views, analysis and research serves over 100,000 food executives each month. http://www.just-food.com/