Fruit Farmers Nutrano Shrugs off cyclone as float looms News05 Apr 2017

As north Queensland reels from the Cyclone Debbie damage, fruit and vegetable producer Nutrano has appointed Shaw and Partners to work towards a public listing in the next few months.

 

The cyclone that hit Bowen, Mackay and Proserpine last week before creating flood havoc further south is estimated to have destroyed about $100 million worth of vegetable crops.

 

Nutrano — nutrition in Italian — has wholesale market operations in Sydney at Flemington markets, Melbourne and Brisbane and recently purchased Oakville’s banana division.

 

Oakville was previously part of the Moraitis family company, headed by well known racing identity and Melbourne Cup-winning owner Nick Moraitis.

 

Nutrano supplies bananas, tomatoes, berries, avocados and mangoes around Australia and increasingly Asia.

 

The group said its supply chains remained intact.

 

Nutrano raised $21m last year to pay for the Oakville purchase, which included its cold chain storage and distribution network, followed by the Queensland-based Seven Fields farm, which produces oranges in Mildura and mangoes from its 145 hectares of trees in the Northern Territory.

 

Nutrano last year also bought Abbotsleigh Citrus in Queensland, a major producer of oranges, lemons, mandarins and blueberries.

 

The company has been keen to point out that its crops were not damaged by the cyclone, so it is well placed to take advantage of the expected price rises consumers will face.

 

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has warned that supermarket prices are likely to increase in the next few months as a result of 20 per cent of the national crop of tomatoes being wiped out.

 

Nutrano and Shaw will carry out a non-deal roadshow over the next month as it starts to work towards a public listing, potentially towards the end of the year.

 

The company and its advisers will meet with potential investors and fund managers.

 

It has reportedly not set a target on how much it wishes to raise.

 

It is estimated Nutrano recorded about $160m worth of revenue in 2016, making it a significant player in the national fruit and vegetable industry.

 

Nutrano exports to 15 countries and has intensified its focus on expanding into Asia.

 

China’s demand for Australian produce, meat and dairy products has been well documented lately, and the appetite of Chinese consumers is unlikely to drop away any time soon.

 

The local fruit and vegetable industry were big Supporters of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and China going ahead, and many of the sector’s leaders were frequent flyers to China to lobby for the deal before it was eventually signed.

 

In Beijing and Shanghai, Australian fruit often sells at more than double the price of local produce. It remains popular with consumers who are wary of Chinese food safety standards.

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/dataroom/fruit-farmer-nutrano-shrugs-off-cyclone-as-float-looms/news-story/aadc092cd448faf60b616fffd62acac7

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