The boss of Australia’s largest live exporting company, Wellard, has sold almost half of his shares in the company to the Chinese-owned Fulida Group.
Mr Balzarini has transferred 16.58 per cent of Wellard to Fulida, which leaves him with a 20 per cent stake, and means Fulida becomes the second biggest shareholder with 66.32 million Wellard shares.
The deal will allow Mauro Balzarini to refinance his private-owned company WGH Holdings and repay $15.8 million, plus interest, which it owes Wellard.
In a statement to the ASX, Mr Balzarini said he was pleased WGH was now in a position to settle the separation payment due to Wellard.
He welcomed Fulida, which he said was a company that had shown “consistent interest” in the live export industry over a long period.
“That Fulida has taken an equity interest in Wellard, and agreed to voluntarily escrow its shares, highlights its belief in the long term future of our business, our industry and the potential that China represents,” he said.
Wellard and Fulida have a history together, last year becoming 50-50 joint venture partners with a plan to design and construct a series of feedlots and an abattoir in China.
News of the agreement has given Wellard’s troubled share price a much needed lift.