Media Release

Solid Energy selects preferred bidder for agri-business

4 October 2012

Solid Energy has selected a consortium led by Southern Packers as preferred bidder for the agribusiness division of Biodiesel New Zealand.

Solid Energy said in August that as part of its response to the impact on its business of the extremely challenging global coal market, the company would sell its biodiesel business which operates in two parts — one manufacturing and marketing biofuel and an agri-business division which contracts with farmers to grow oilseed rape, processes the seed at its Rolleston oilseed extraction plant and sells the oil into the food industry and meal as animal feed.

If the sale negotiations are successful, Solid Energy expects that the consortium will take over the business in November. The consortium also includes Midlands Seed, Biodiesel New Zealand's current agri-business manager and an agronomist currently contracted to the business.

The consortium's bid is a going concern offer and their intention is take the oilseed rape industry forward in New Zealand.

Solid Energy is currently considering bids for Biodiesel New Zealand's fuel division.

Note:
Southern Packers Limited grades, packs and exports onions to the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia and also supplies the local market, here in New Zealand. The company is based in Washdyke, Timaru in South Canterbury. The company also pack potatoes for export. Southern Packers Ltd was formed in 1999 when a group of local growers and exporters purchased the existing packhouse, built in 1998, from Alpine Fresh.

Postscript: On 13 November 2012 Solid Energy completed the sale of the agri-business division of Biodiesel New Zealand Ltd to Pure Oil New Zealand Ltd. On 3 February 2013, the biodiesel production arm, including the Biogold™ brand, was sold to Green Fuels NZ Ltd.