Sunrice gets grower support for ASX

By Country News

SunRice shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to list the company on the Australian Securities Exchange at the company’s annual general meeting.

Held in Jerilderie on September 20, the meeting saw 80 per cent of Class A shareholders and 92 per cent of Class B shareholders vote in favour of a resolution which will see B Class shares transferred from the National Securities Exchange to the ASX.

SunRice’s existing corporate structure and day-to-day operations will not change as a result of listing on the ASX.

‘‘Importantly, being listed on the ASX will provide SunRice with access to a deeper pool of capital, improving the ability to raise funds to accelerate the 2022 Strategy, as well as reducing business risk and increasing balance sheet strength,’’ the company said.

‘‘SunRice is subject to cyclical and unpredictable changes in business conditions, such as the drought presently being experienced in the Riverina.

‘‘Accelerating the 2022 Strategy will ensure the ongoing growth and resilience of the business, so that Riverina growers can maximise their returns when planting rice is viable again.’’

The decision has been welcomed by Ricegrowers Association of Australia, which announced its support for the move in August.

‘‘Our rice industry has today determined its future and yet again has taken a clear step towards securing its future success and sustainability,’’ Association president Jeremy Morton said.

‘‘The ASX listing of SunRice provides us with the best chance of addressing opportunities and challenges to take our industry forward,’’ he said.

‘‘We believe that any funds generated from capital raising following the ASX listing of SunRice will enable SunRice ... to achieve long-term improvement in both the returns for growers and the profitability of the company.’’

SunRice will advise shareholders of the date of transfer of B Class shares from the NSX to the ASX once this is confirmed, and will issue an information memorandum for shareholders and potential investors.

External directors Luisa Catanzaro and Andrew Crane were also voted in at the meeting, with the decision to appoint an additional external director to the board also approved.

Ms Catanzaro and Dr Crane have experience in the agri-business sector and also in implementing expansion strategies in Asia.