Rice Board OKs exclusive export licence for SunRice-Ebro sale

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 28th March 2011

SunRice announced on Friday that the Rice Marketing Board for the State of New South Wales, RMB, has agreed to extend the company’s exclusive export licence for another five years to 30 June 2016, if the proposed acquisition of SunRice by Ebro Foods S.A (Ebro) is approved by shareholders and

In that letter to SunRice, the RMB Chairman Mr. Nick Papallo advised that the RMB formed a committee comprising only non-grower RMB members, and sought its own independent opinion and legal advice to consider the implications of the proposed transaction on New South Wales rice growers.

SunRice welcomed the decision of RMB and the certainty it provides to New South Wales rice growers.

Should the Ebro transaction proceed, the RMB will be represented on the newly formed Grower Advisory Board, and the amended Sole and Exclusive Export Agreement will incorporate commitments that Ebro has made to growers, including ongoing research and development for rice production in NSW.

The agreement will also incorporate the SunRice groups’ obligations to repay debt owed to the RMB.

Ebro has entered into a Deed of Guarantee and Undertaking to guarantee the payment obligations and the commitments outlined above. The company said this commitment will provide certainty for the RMB with respect to its outstanding RMB Equity repayment obligations.

Following on from the RMB’s decision, SunRice said it hopes to have the Scheme Booklet and Independent Expert’s Report to shareholders in early May (subject to ASIC review and Court approval).

The shareholder meeting to consider and vote on the Ebro transaction is likely to be held in late May.