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Rural Equities, Cushings build 17.6% stake in Tandou

Rural Equities, Cushings build 17.6% stake in ASX-listed Tandou

By Paul McBeth

Aug 9 (BusinessDesk) - Rural Equities and interests associated with the Cushing family have built up a 17.7 percent stake in ASX-listed agribusiness Tandou.

The Hawkes Bay farming group controlled by the Cushings bought an 11 percent parcel in Tandou for $7.9 million at an average price of about 43 Australian cents, Rural Equities said in a statement to the Unlisted platform. The investment aims to piggyback on Tandou’s water rights, which Rural Equities sees as underpinning future Australian agricultural production.

“The investment allows REL to further diversify its agricultural portfolio,” chairman David Cushing said. “We intend to be a long-term shareholder in the company.”

Rural Equities owns 27 farms, of which nine are directly managed and the rest leased out. Its shares, which are listed on the Unlisted platform, last traded at $3.90, valuing the company at $139.8 million.

Tandou focuses on focussed on large scale production of irrigated cereal crops and cotton, the pastoral production of sheep meat and providing agribusiness services to its customers, according to its website. The ASX-listed shares gained 2 percent to 50 cents yesterday, valuing the company at A$71.6 million.

The Australian company was the subject of a takeover bid by Guinness Peat Group in 2009 and 2010, in an offer Tandou said was the investment trying to take control “on the cheap.” GPG sold its stake earlier this year for A$12.8 million, or 36 Australian cents apiece, as it liquidates its portfolio.


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