Hastings Co-operative will go through with plans to sell its Wallace Street milk factory after 92 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the takeover proposal by Sungrow Australia. A total of 2057 votes were cast.
The proposal will see Sungrow Australia buy the NSW milk factory for $2.95 million, which includes $2 million for the plant and equipment, and the land and the buildings, and $950,000 for the value of the stock on hand.
The company will also make investments in major equipment upgrade at the factory, with expansion into new product lines, including plans to build a powdered milk factory.
Under the proposed agreement, Hastings Dairy will continue to own its existing dairy product names with Sungrow Australia to produce and market the products, and all existing employees will be given the option to continue working under the new ownership.
It will also add Indian products, such as ghee, paneer, which is like cottage cheese, lassi, which is a butter milk, and khove to its production line. New machinery will be installed to manufacturer the expanded range of products and will employ local people trained by Indian experts to create this new line.
According Hastings Co-op’s CEO, Phillip Bryant, the ballot result reflected general community support behind the takeover as votes exceed the required 75 per cent of responses for the sale to take place.
Sungrow Australia made the bid for the factory in June this year.
The news is a positive result for the NSW milk industry, which has been under a lot of pressure due to the import of cut price milk and the proposed sale is considered by industry to be a “win-win” not only for factory employees, but also the local community and local farmers in Wauchope.
The Hastings Co-operative is located in Wauchope on the mid north coast of New South Wales.
The co-operative looks after operations including:
•The Dairy Products division, which includes cheeses and yoghurts and Hastings Milk
•Three IGA supermarkets in the Wauchope CBD, Timbertown and in Gordon Street, Port Macquarie
•Two Farm Supplies outlets in Wauchope and Comboyne, which is dedicated to agricultural and irrigation supplies
•The Fuel Supplies division, which includes Ampol and Caltex service stations at each end of Wauchope, and a Bulk Fuel operation which supplies fuel to farmers, industrial customers and retail service stations based in northern NSW.
•Bottle-O Liquor Barn, a drive through bottle shop located next to the Cedar Service Station on Wauchope’s High Street
Image courtesy of Hastings.