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    Louis Dreyfus Commodities establishes a joint venture with Australia’s Namoi Cotton

    Louis Dreyfus Commodities establishes a joint venture with Australia’s Namoi Cotton
    Published: Jan 13, 2013

    Namoi Cotton Co-operative Ltd (AX:NAM) and Louis Dreyfus Commodities Group (“Louis Dreyfus Commodities”) today jointly announced a proposal for the establishment of a cotton marketing and commodities packing services joint venture (“Joint Venture”) to be called Namoi Cotton Alliance.

    Under the proposed Joint Venture, Namoi Cotton will hold a 51% controlling interest and Louis Dreyfus Commodities will hold a 49% minority interest. The Joint Venture will hold Namoi Cotton’s cotton marketing and commodities packing assets, for which Namoi Cotton will receive $30.38 million.

    Namoi Cotton will also raise approximately $3.65 million from the issue of 14,327,384 Namoi Capital Listed Stock to Louis Dreyfus Commodities.

    Importantly, the fundamentals of Namoi Cotton’s business will remain unchanged. It will continue to own and operate 100% of its ginning and cotton seed businesses, maintaining these critical supply chain activities for Growers.

    Namoi Cotton Chairman, Stuart Boydell said: “Today’s joint announcement represents the culmination of Namoi Cotton’s cornerstone investment strategic initiative which commenced in early 2012. This strategic initiative was embarked upon to deliver liquidity for business development opportunities, enable flexibility around our working capital requirements and strengthen our balance sheet”.

    “The Namoi Cotton Board believes the Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ offer represents compelling value and is in the best interests of Namoi Cotton Grower Members and Namoi Cotton. The Board is unanimously recommending that Namoi Cotton Grower Members vote in favour of the Proposed Resolution in the special postal ballot.”

    Namoi Cotton Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Callachor said: “Namoi Cotton Alliance will draw on the extensive industry experience of Namoi Cotton, in conjunction with the financial capacity, global marketing expertise and risk management skills of Louis Dreyfus Commodities. The Joint Venture will create a strong cotton marketing business whilst retaining important Grower Member co-operative involvement. The capital raised will strengthen Namoi Cotton’s balance sheet.”

    Louis Dreyfus Commodities Australian CEO Robert Green said: “Namoi Cotton Alliance will undoubtedly support Australian cotton growers in international markets long-term, while allowing the global Louis Dreyfus Commodities business greater exposure to additional Australian cotton volumes to meet the needs of its international customers.”

    “This investment by Louis Dreyfus Commodities in established infrastructure and logistics operations in Australia illustrates the group’s desire to build stronger engagement with Australian growers, as the basis for our immediate and longer term growth goals,” he said.

    Namoi Cotton will seek the approval of its Grower Members by special postal ballot (75% majority) for the establishment of the Joint Venture. It is anticipated this ballot will be completed at or around the end of February 2013.

    Further details will be provided to Grower Members and the market in coming weeks through the release of a Grower Booklet, which will contain information explaining the impact on Namoi Cotton of the Joint Venture.

    Key Highlights

    • Under the proposed Joint Venture, Namoi Cotton will hold a 51% controlling interest and Louis Dreyfus Commodities will hold a 49% minority interest. The Joint Venture will hold Namoi Cotton’s cotton marketing and commodities packing assets, for which Namoi Cotton will receive $30.38 million;
    • Namoi Cotton will also raise approximately $3.65 million from the issue of 14,327,384 Namoi Capital Listed Stock to Louis Dreyfus Commodities;
    • Namoi Cotton will continue to own and operate 100% of its ginning and cotton seed businesses, securing these critical supply chain activities for Growers;
    • Namoi Cotton will continue to procure cotton from its Grower Members and the iconic Namoi Cotton brand will be retained in domestic and international markets;
    • Namoi Cotton will achieve a reduction in its level of term debt providing greater financial strength, capacity and flexibility to capitalise on future business development opportunities;
    • Namoi Cotton Alliance will enable Namoi Cotton to establish a strong platform for future growth and aims to enhance cotton marketing services to Namoi Cotton’s Grower Members;
    • Louis Dreyfus Commodities will enter into an off take sales agreement with the Joint Venture to buy a quantity of cotton each season from the Joint Venture;
    • Louis Dreyfus Commodities will continue to operate its existing cotton origination, warehousing and logistics business – known as Louis Dreyfus Commodities Australia – as before, completely separate to and in competition with Namoi Cotton Alliance Joint Venture; and
    • Implementation of the Joint Venture is subject to a number of conditions precedent, which are set out in the schedule to this announcement.

    For further information please contact:

    Mr Jeremy Callachor
    Chief Executive Officer
    Namoi Cotton Co-operative Ltd
    +61 7 4631 6104

    Mr Robert Green
    Chief Executive Officer
    Louis Dreyfus Commodities Australia Pty Ltd
    +61 3 9828 6111

    For media enquiries, please contact:

    Namoi Cotton – Media Advisor
    Bruce Ruddy
    Rowland
    +61 418 730 339

    Louis Dreyfus Commodities Australia Advisor
    David McCarthy
    Edelman
    +61 417 389 675


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