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Ballance closes the loop on investments for growth

1 MARCH 2013

Ballance closes the loop on investments for growth

Ballance has taken a further step in its growth strategy, moving to full ownership of animal nutrition company Seales Winslow Limited and farm technology company Farmworks Systems Limited. It has held 51% shareholdings in both companies since 2011.

Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau says full ownership will see the co-operative better placed to support the growth goals of both business units, enabling Ballance to meet increasing demand from customers for the full range farm nutrients and technology which enable them to farm smarter and more productively.

“Farm nutrients and technology are clearly two growing areas of the market and a natural fit with our core business. We know that farmers are looking towards strategic animal nutrition supplementation and farm technology to get the best returns from their businesses and reduce their environmental footprint.

“We are confident these investments will help drive our performance and growth as we continue to supply farm nutrients at the best possible price while also making good returns for our shareholders each year,” said Ballance Chief Executive Larry Bilodeau.

Mr Bilodeau said Seales Winslow was performing very well with good staff, management and leadership and a rising profile as a national provider of animal nutrition.

“It has excellent potential and moving to full ownership will see that potential realised at pace”.

Outgoing Chairman Neil Richardson says Seales Winslow will be in the good hands of a 100 percent New Zealand farmer owned cooperative, committed to looking after its farmer shareholders, as well as local suppliers.

“We’ve always sourced from local farmers and it is heartening to know that the company will continue to use New Zealand ingredients in the future.”

Farmworks’ Ag-Hub farm information management system became part of Ballance’s range of products and services in in early 2011.

“Moving to full ownership of Farmworks Systems will support development of the Ag-Hub farm information system at a time when demand is rising for good technology tools to help farmers manage nutrients and production more profitably and sustainably.

“We see a good future for Ag-Hub as the pressure goes on farmers to closely manage nutrients on-farm and to contain costs by making the most of their fertiliser and feed budgets.”

Both businesses will continue to operate as independent companies. Seales Winslow will continue to operate under the direction of Graeme Smith, who will return to the Ballance executive team as General Manager Animal Nutrition. New Ballance General Manager AgInformation Graeme Martin will oversee the Farmworks Systems business as well as development of Ballance’s other farm technology solutions.

ENDS

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