Maryborough offers sweet deal

THE MARYBOROUGH Sugar Factory yesterday put a $20 million sweetener on the table to boost its offer for Tully Sugar Limited.

“MSF has amended its offer to add a cash plus shares alternative form of consideration,” CEO Mike Barry said yesterday.

“The alternative consideration is $6.75 cash plus 10 MSF Shares for each Tully share. Tully shareholders will have a choice – the original consideration of 13 MSF shares per Tully share will still be available.”

Maryborough’s offer for Tully dates back to August 27 but MSF was in discussions with Tully before that.

Mr Barry said the directors of MSF still believed the offer reflected a sound proposal for Tully shareholders.

“We extended the offer period on February 18 and added a cash and shares alternative so MSF does reaffirm its commitment to a merger with Tully.”

Those Tully shareholders who have already accepted the offer and elected to receive the original consideration will be entitled to make a fresh election as to the form of consideration they receive, Mr Barry says.

A supplementary bidder’s statement (including a new acceptance form) containing details of the changes will be provided to Tully and lodged with ASIC and the Australian Stock Exchange this week.

Meanwhile MSF has posted a bumper after tax net profit for the half year ended December 31.

The $10.8 million profit is an increase of $9.8 million over the previous corresponding period.

“Contributing factors include improved forecast sugar prices and an increase in cane crushed,” Mr Barry said.

The company’s bid to gain approval for its Mary Harbour development is ongoing.

“This year we spent $64,000 on this process but there remains significant potential for uplift in the value of the property, which is currently carried at $2.2 million in our balance sheet.”

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