Freedom seeks dairy equity input

By Dairy News

DAIRY FOODS processor Freedom Foods is ramping up its production facilities in Shepparton and is embarking on a $130 million equity raising offer for the group.

A large percentage of the funds are expected to be spent on expanding it’s Shepparton dairy processing factory.

The Shepparton site already includes a large UHT milk processing plant.

The equity raising is split between an offer of one new share for every existing 18 Freedom Food shares and an instituional placement of new shares at an offer price of $4.80 per new share to raise about $65 million.

The company says it wants the money to accelerate Freedom Foods’s growth strategy, for nutritional ingredients and for more capital to meet demand growth.

In a statement released to the stock market, the company said the Freedom Group was leveraging its significant and growing dairy capabilities to build a branded high margin product portfolio in specialty nutritional products.

“Freedom Foods is well advanced in completing the first stage of a specialised nutritionals platform aligned to the dairy UHT operations at Shepparton. The platform will provide for protein standardisation and the ability to manufacture high grade protein components for use in our branded products and for sale to strategic customers.

“The new product and revenue streams will be derived from a dairy milk input already utilised in the UHT operations.”

According to managing director Rory McLeod, the company projects 2019 financial year net sales revenues to be in the range of $480 million to $490 million, an increase of $127 million to $137 million or 36–39 per cent on the previous year.