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ProTen chicken farmer raises $A34m to expand in Australia

The company exceeded its target detailed last month to raise between $A25-30 million.

Tina Morrison
Wed, 10 Jun 2015

ProTen, an Australian chicken farming business whose shares trade on New Zealand's Unlisted market, raised $A34 million to fund future growth and repay financing.

The Sydney-based company exceeded its target detailed last month to raise between $A25-30 million. The company's shares, which were removed from a trading halt today, last changed hands at 70c cents in April, valuing the company at $70.4 million.

ProTen, Australia's largest independent contract grower of broiler chickens for meat, plans to use the funds and bank debt to invest $A130 million in increasing production to an annual 72 million chickens, from 40 million, taking its share of Australian production to 11% from 7%. It said it may also expand into related protein industries.

The company expects to expand its farms in New South Wales and Western Australia, where it has long-term supply contracts with Baiada Poultry, the nation's biggest chicken processor.

"Chicken is the most popular meat in Australia and is experiencing the fastest-growing consumption rates globally, largely due to chicken's price advantage over other meat," said ProTen chief executive Daniel Bryant.

In November, chairman John Signal said increasing the scale of the company would set the business up for a possible "liquidity event" in the future. ProTen is considering floating on the Australian Stock Exchange, the Australian newspaper reported today, citing Mr Bryant.

Some of the equity raised would be used to repay a redeemable preference share financing in 2012, the company said today. ProTen raised $9 million from redeemable convertible preference shares in 2012, according to notes from its 2012 annual meeting.

(BusinessDesk)

Tina Morrison
Wed, 10 Jun 2015
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ProTen chicken farmer raises $A34m to expand in Australia
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