Elders to buy rural merchandise wholesaler
ELDERS Limited has announced a takeover of independent rural supplies wholesaler Australian Independent Rural Retailers for $157 million.
On top of the purchase price for AIRR, Elders will also pay out the wholesaler’s existing $30 million in debt.
The move will allow Elders to keep pace with the takeover of Ruralco by Canadian conglomerate Nutrien. While the Elders-AIRR deal does not include ownership of AIRR’s network of 340 independent rural supplies outlets, it does provide a combined network of more than 550 stores. The Nutrien takeover of Ruralco, if it secures all regulatory and shareholder approvals, could see a network emerge of 654 Landmark and Ruralco stores across Australia.
Elders managing director Mark Allison said if both deals were approved, “it would make us clear one and two”.