China’s Fulida to Buy 17% of Australian Cattle Exporter Wellard

  • Wellard shares have slumped 83 percent since 2015 listing
  • Exporter has struggled to pass on record local cattle prices

Chinese textile maker Fulida Group Holdings Co. agreed to buy 17 percent of Wellard Ltd., the Australian livestock exporter that has slumped since listing in December 2015.

The share purchase, from a company controlled by Wellard Chief Executive Officer Mauro Balzarini, will make Fulida the second-biggest investor in Wellard, according to a stock exchange filing Monday.

While exact terms of the sale weren’t disclosed, Wellard has tumbled 83 percent since the initial public offering, cutting the company’s market value to A$94 million ($71 million). Profit margins have been squeezed as Wellard struggled to pass on to customers in Southeast Asia record cattle prices in Australia.

Balzarini’s company, WGH Holdings Pty, is selling the stock to Fulida at the same time as a refinancing that will also see WGH pay A$15.8 million to bolster Wellard’s balance sheet. WGH will remain the largest investor in Fremantle, Western Australia-based Wellard with a 20 percent stake.

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