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October 21, 2022

Minerva Foods, Salic pounce again Down Under with Australian Lamb Company

The Australian Lamb Company in Victoria bought for US$250m.

By Simon Harvey

Brazil’s Minerva Foods and Salic in Saudi Arabia have struck another Australian meat deal under a joint venture.

The Australian Lamb Company, a sheep processor in Victoria, has been acquired for AUD400m (US$250m). Each party is contributing a proportion of cash relevant to their holdings in the venture partnership.

Salic – the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. – is Saudi Arabia’s state agricultural fund. It owns 35% of the venture and will commit AUD140m, Minerva said in a stock-exchange filing.

The two organisations unveiled the partnership early last year before inking twin buy outs later in the summer – sheep processors Shark Lake Food Group Abattoir and Great Eastern Abattoir.

Under the new transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, the Minerva Foods Australia JV will have access to Australian Lamb’s two processing facilities in Sunshine, Melbourne, and Colac in south-west Victoria. The company supplies the retail and foodservice markets.

In its own statement provided to Just Food, Australian Lamb said the acquisition will “provide opportunities in new and emerging markets”.

General manager Darren Verrall said: “To bring together the wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts that both businesses possess will be an excellent foundation for growth into the future.”

Minerva said the acquired business has an annual processing capacity of more than 3.7m sheep. That will give the JV more than 4.7m in total capacity – or 15% of the sheep slaughter market in Australia when Shark Lake and Great Eastern are included.

Australian Lamb generated AUD624.9m in revenue in the year to 30 June and delivered AUD82.6m in adjusted EBITDA, according to Minerva. It added that 93% of the company’s production goes to export, taking in more than 70 markets.

The US accounts for 40% of Australian Lamb’s overseas shipments, while other destinations include Europe, the Middle East, Japan and South Korea.

Iain Mars, the CEO of Minerva Foods Australia, said: “The highly-skilled workforce at ALC produces an incredible product which is well respected around the world and we are looking forward to building on this reputation.” “Minerva Foods prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, community and its people and looks forward to engaging with the workforce and broader community.”

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