SUNRICE is planning a major move in order to improve access to “external capital”.
The company’s board has announced plans to move the listing of its B class shares from the National Stock Exchange (NSX) to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to improve access to external capital and support the company’s growth strategy.
If approved by shareholders, the ASX listing will remove current B class share ownership restrictions and the 5 per cent shareholding cap.
This will allow anyone to invest in SunRice B class shares, up to a new maximum 10 per cent shareholding cap.
The ASX proposal will be taken to a shareholder vote at the time of the SunRice annual general meeting on September 20.
In commenting on the announcement, SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur said growers and shareholders are ideally positioned to take the step.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Business as usual
SunRice has assured there will be no change to the fundamental structure or operation of the company.
There will be no material change to SunRice’s existing company or dual class share structure and no change to its paddy pricing or dividend policies, protecting both sets of shareholders’ interests.
A class grower shareholders will continue to elect the directors of SunRice and approve (through a 75 per cent majority vote) any changes to the Constitution and any change of control transaction.
A class shareholders will also be given the right to review the 10 per cent B class shareholding cap in 10 years’ time and every three years thereafter, with a 50 per cent majority vote to retain it and, if desired, a 75 per cent vote to change it via a separate EGM.
B class shareholders will continue to be entitled to dividends and vote on issues which affect their B class share rights, although the range of matters that are deemed to do so will be expanded under the proposal.
B class shareholders will also have the right to approve any takeover transactions through a 75 per cent majority vote, as they do today.
The SunRice board will continue to comprise a majority of grower directors, with one additional external director proposed by the board to be voted on by A class grower shareholders at the AGM, separate to the ASX proposal. Meetings will be held throughout the region this week to discuss the proposal. More information is available at www.sunrice.com.au/ASX or by calling 1800 020 806.