SunRice yesterday flagged its intention to seek permission from shareholders to list its B Class shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) later this year.
Moving the shares from the National Stock Exchange would remove current B Class ownership restrictions, allowing shares to be purchased by the general public.
SunRice is also looking to increase the shareholding cap, allowing anyone to acquire 10 per cent of shares instead of being limited to five per cent.
It is the second time the proposal to list has been raised with shareholders, with the first abandoned in 2016 due to industry pressures in both rice and dairy.
SunRice chairman and Moulamein and Barham farmer Laurie Arthur said the aim of listing on the ASX is to improve access to external capital and support the company’s growth strategy.
He stressed there would be no changes to grower control in the company under the proposal.
‘‘SunRice, our growers and shareholders are ideally positioned to take one of the most significant steps forward in our 70 year history,’’ Mr Arthur said.
‘‘The company’s 2022 Growth Strategy details the potential opportunities ahead of us to capitalise on global food trends and our competitive advantages to increase farm gate returns and drive shareholder value.
‘‘We have a strong growth agenda over the medium term, however SunRice requires capital beyond our current capabilities to deliver on our strategy in full. The ASX provides access to Australia’s largest pool of equity capital and we have worked closely with the exchange to enable the listing of SunRice’s dual class share structure.
‘‘An ASX listing will provide the opportunity to attract investment from both new and existing shareholders to support our growth strategy and benefit both A and B Class shareholders.
‘‘Critically, our dual class share structure and A Class grower shareholder control will be retained and there will be no change to the fundamental structure or operation of SunRice, which has seen us successfully deliver returns for both A and B Class shareholders for more than 10 years.’’
SunRice will hold a series of meetings open to shareholders and the general public starting next week to explain the proposal.
Existing shareholders will also receive an explanatory booklet, with a vote on listing to be taken at the company’s AGM this September.
To succeed, the vote must receive at least 75 per cent support from both A and B Class shareholders.
‘‘We encourage everyone with an interest in SunRice or the industry to attend one of the information sessions to be held next week in the Riverina and online, and urge all shareholders to read all formal documentation in full before they decide how to vote,’’ Mr Arthur said.
The Deniliquin meeting will be held Monday, June 4 at the Deniliquin Golf Club from 7pm to 9pm.
Meetings will also be held in Coleambally and Griffith, or you can participate in the online webinar on the proposal from noon to 2pm on Wednesday, June 6.
More information on the proposal for growers and shareholders is available at the same website, or through the information line on 1800020806.