Ridley to sell salt assets, focus on agribusiness manufacturing

Ridley Corporation will sell its Cheetham Salt business to CK Life Science to focus on its agribusiness core.

According to the company, the $150 million deal will see the sale of its Cheetham Salt company to CK Life Science, yet will see Ridley retain its holding on the Dry Creek Salt field and all the assets associated with its non-operating Bowen, Lara, and Moolap former salt field sites.

Ridley stated that the divestment will allow it to focus on its position as an agribusiness.

John Spark, Ridley's chairman, explained that "the decision to sell Cheetham is the culmination of a process announced in February 2012 to identify and evaluate alternative strategies to unlock the underlying value of the Cheetham business.

"This sale transforms Ridley into a focused animal nutrients, ingredients, and feed producers and provides flexibility to pursue further value accretive growth opportunities which will strengthen Ridley's position in the sector and enable further participation in industry participation".

Ridley managing director John Murray added that "as a result of this transaction Ridley is positioned as a company focused on the supply of animal nutrition products and services as well as the production of strategically important ingredients in the protein value chain".

The transaction is still subject to approvals from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office, but is expected to be completed around 28 February 2013.

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