Australia-based rice supplier SunRice has entered a share buy-back agreement under which it will acquire 100% of Trukai Industries, a Papua New Guinea rice group.
SunRice owns 66.23% of Trukai, which was founded in 1970, and will acquire the remaining shares from Melanesian Trustee Services Limited (MTSL) for a fee of K42.5m ($11.94m).
The deal is set to be completed by the end of June when MTSL-nominated Trukai directors will resign from their roles. The Trukai board will then be solely made up of SunRice nominees.
Trukai, which offers rice products including medium grain, jasmine, brown and roots, claims to have been the leading supplier of rice to Papua New Guinea for 50 years. Its main operations are based in Lae in the Morobe Province, with five additional sales centres throughout the country.
SunRice CEO Rob Gordon said: “The SunRice Group has a longstanding presence and proud history of investing in Papua New Guinea for over 50 years through its subsidiary Trukai which now employs close to 1,000 local staff and plays an important role in food security and in supporting communities across the country.
“Today’s announcement reflects our ongoing investment in Papua New Guinea and our commitment to continue providing high quality, secure sources of rice to communities who rely upon our products.”
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Earlier this week, SunRice revealed that it had entered a ‘Sole and Exclusive Export Licence Agreement’ (SEEL) for the state of New South Wales in Australia.
The Australian Rice Marketing Board (RMB) granted the licence, which allows SunRice to sell and supply New South Wales rice outside of Australia from the beginning of July until the summer of 2027.
Gordon, who is due to retire in August and be replaced by Paul Serra, stated: “The SEEL positions SunRice to deliver significant scale benefits for growers, with the integrated supply chain increasing efficiencies of scale and lowering operating and freight costs.”
On the same day, the Australian rice group announced the renewal of a strategic agreement with a commercial partner in China for the supply of milled white rice to key markets throughout the Pacific. The agreement is set to last from July until the end of the year.