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NEWSFLASH: NZ Farming Systems gets rival offer

Monday 16th August 2010

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NZ Farming Systems Uruguay said it has received a rival takeover offer from Union Agriculture Group for 60 cents a share, topping a 55-cents offer from Singapore's Olam International.

Updated story to follow shortly. Statement below


Uruguayan-based Union Agriculture Group Corp. (UAG) today announced that it has notified NZ Farming Systems Uruguay Limited (NZFSU) of its intention to make an all cash offer at NZ$0.60 per share for up to 100% of the issued and outstanding shares in NZFSU. 


UAG's offer price of NZ$0.60 per share represents a 46% premium to the trading price of NZ$0.41 on July 17, 2010, prior to the announcement by Olam International Limited (Olam) ´╗┐of its intention to make an all cash offer of NZ$0.55 per share, and a 9% improvement over the Olam offer of NZ$0.55 per share.


"We believe our proposal is very compelling, both from a financial viewpoint and more importantly from a strategic perspective," says Juan Sartori, Chairman of UAG. "UAG is a leading operator of agricultural businesses in Uruguay with a highly experienced Uruguayan management team. 

"Our objective is to acquire a controlling stake in NZFSU and we are content to achieve ownership of 50.1% and have NZFSU remain listed on the NZX. We believe combining UAG's management expertise and local knowledge in Uruguay with NZFSU's expertise and experience in dairy farming will create significant opportunities for growth.  NZFSU could become one of the most successful dairy operations in the world.

"By replicating the success UAG has had in grains, cattle and blueberries, we can utilise our combined local expertise and operational excellence together with the most advanced dairy farming technologies to create a leading global dairy company."

UAG's offer is subject to certain conditions, including UAG achieving a minimum 50.1% shareholding in NZFSU and the approval by the Overseas Investment Office. 

Funding for the transaction is readily available from existing cash on hand and from various other sources. UAG expects to dispatch the final offer document within 14 days from the date of this press release. Full details of UAG's offer are included in its Takeover Notice.

UAG has retained Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Lawyers in Auckland and BMO Capital Markets, Melbourne/Toronto to act as its legal and financial advisors in connection with this transaction.


About Union Agriculture Group Corp
Union Agriculture Group Corp is a privately held company formed to acquire and develop prime agriculture land in Uruguay and is currently one of Uruguay's largest agricultural businesses.  Since inception, UAG has grown rapidly from its original properties into a company owning and operating in excess of 50'000 hectares of prime agricultural land in Uruguay. 

Current operations and investments include livestock (dairy, beef, sheep), fruits (blueberries, olives), apiculture (bees) and grains (rice, soybeans, wheat).

UAG's objective is to leverage its extensive management capabilities and institutional credibility to build a regional agricultural leader and one of the largest and most efficient publicly listed agriculture companies in the world.  UAG utilises the most advanced technological and scientific methodologies to improve operations and farming production while assuring sustainable economic growth while protecting the environment.

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