Canterbury group in Solid Energy deal
Solid Energy has sold the agribusiness division of its Biodiesel New Zealand business to a South Canterbury consortium for an undisclosed sum.
Biodiesel New Zealand was pegged for sale or closure along with the rest of the renewables group developed by the state-owned coalminer after a company-wide review in August, which also cut about a quarter of Solid Energy's staff.
Splitting Biodiesel up for sale, the company's $17-million Rolleston oil pressing plant and contracted oilseed agribusiness operation has been sold to Pure Oil New Zealand.
That company is owned by onion and potato exporter Southern Packers, Midland Seeds, agronomist Roger Lasham and former division manager Nick Murney.
The company contracts farmers to grow oilseed rape, and processes the seed and sells the oil into the food industry and meal as animal feed.
A Solid Energy spokesman said the company was pleased Pure Oil New Zealand planned to develop the business and grow the amount of oilseed rape crop under contract.
The other half of Biodiesel NZ is an Addington cooking oil recycling plant which makes biofuel, and the sales and marketing arm.
A deal to sell the the fuel division was still being worked on, with the company expecting to complete it by the end of the year, he said.
Solid Energy valued the combined Biodiesel operation at $8.7 million in June after a $9m write down.
Solid Energy would not say how much the agribusiness division sold for.