Minter Ellison has acted for Chinese agribusiness company COFCO Corporation (COFCO) in its takeover bid for Tully Sugar Limited (Tully Sugar), a Queensland sugar mill.
The formal takeover offer has been made by COFCO's wholly owned subsidiary Top Glory (Australia) Pty Limited.
Tully Sugar mills sugar cane to produce high-grade quality raw sugar and molasses. All raw sugar produced at the mill is exported.
COFCO, a Fortune 500 company, is China's largest diversified products and services supplier in the agribusiness and food industry, importing and exporting a range of products.
COFCO is seeking to obtain up to 100 per cent ownership of Tully Sugar shares. COFCO's current cash offer is $41 per share, with its acquisition subject to a number of conditions, including Australian FIRB approval and a 50.1 per cent minimum acceptance condition.
According to Minter Ellison, Tully's current ownership is spread across shareholders, half of whom are cane growers. Tully's constitution prohibits anyone from owning more than 20 per cent of the company. Accordingly, in order for a takeover bid to proceed, Tully shareholders will be holding a vote to change the company's constitutional ban on ownership.
"Minter Ellison is pleased to be assisting COFCO with this significant transaction for it in Australia. We understand COFCO provides an important link in the trade of sugar and grain between Australia and China and this deal would represent a further milestone in those links," said lead partner Marcus Best.
Minter Ellison's Bruce Cowley and David Schiavello also worked on the deal.