El­ders to buy ru­ral mer­chan­dise whole­saler

The Western Star - - Rural Weekly -

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”.

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