24 Aug 2010

Bidding for NZ Farming Systems intensifies

12:40 pm on 24 August 2010

The battle for New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay is heating up, with one of the bidders increasing its offer.

Singapore-based food company Olam International has upped its offer from 55 to 70 cents a share.

That trumps the bid by Uruguay-based Union Agriculture Group of 60 cents per share.

Olam says it has increased its bid because NZ Farming Systems' full year $10.3 million dollar loss was in line with its expectations and because the company's status as a project of national interest in Uruguay is financially beneficial.

Thirdly, Olam says, the internalisation of the management contract previously held by PGG Wrightson has made the company more attractive.

On Monday, NZ Farming Systems urged shareholders to reject Olam's earlier offer, and said it has been in negotiations with a potential third bidder, who may be willing to inject the necessary capital into the company.

Olam says it would not approve of such a capital raising, as it would dilute existing shareholders' stakes.

If its bid is successful, Olam says, it could support a capital raising that was fair and equitable to all shareholders.

Olam's revised offer closes on 24 September.