Wattle Health Australia, an infant-formula and baby-food maker, said it has entered a conditional agreement with Shepparton Partners Collective to form a joint venture.

Sydney-listed Wattle Health said in a statement the venture will focus on holding, marketing and distributing its organic infant formula brand Uganic, as well as future products, using Shepparton Partners Collective’s sales teams to increase brand awareness. 

The venture will also lean on Shepparton Partners Collective’s “extensive” distribution network at home and overseas.

Shepparton Partners Collective is a joint venture between finance house Perma Funds Management and private-investment firm The Eights, which have international experience in food, supply chains, finance, retail, agricultural businesses and technology. Last year, SPC Ardmona, the fruit and vegetable business then owned by Coca-Cola Amatil, was sold to Shepparton Partners Collective for AUD40m.

Wattle Health also said Shepparton Partners Collective will assist in securing a line of credit for AUD20m (US$12.8m) to complete the construction of a spray dryer at Corio Bay Dairy.

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And further, Shepparton Partners Collective will be awarded shares in Wattle Health, the number of which will grow as revenues increase.

Wattle Health chief executive Dr Tony McKenna said the companies “share a commitment and purpose to develop value-added agricultural capability and work with our respective primary industry partners to build viable and long term and sustainable businesses based on high quality Australian farm products”. 

Meanwhile, the infant-formula producer said it has raised AUD4.86m through a share placement to funnel into the construction of the spray dryer.