Grantham Cannery hoping for LVRC support
UPDATE: LOCKYER Valley Regional Council has said there has been no decision made to assist the Grantham cannery.
The Lockyer Valley Fruit and Vegetable Company said in a statement today that council would assist with guarantor status for up to $1 million underwriting of the seed capital requirements and assistance to obtain further State and Federal government input.
A spokesperson from LVRC clarified while they are 100 per cent behind the establishment of a cannery facility in the Lockyer Valley, no decision had been made to provide the Lockyer Valley Fruit and Vegetable Processing Company with a guarantee.
"The Mayor met with the board of the company yesterday where he informed the board that their proposal would need to be considered by the whole Council," the spokesperson said.
"An opportunity will be afforded for the company to meet with the full Council in coming weeks to discuss the proposal further.
"Again, Council has made no decision at this point in relation to providing the Lockyer Valley Fruit and Vegetable Processing Company with a guarantee."
EARLIER: Lockyer Valley Regional Council has stepped in to bring the $71 million Grantham cannery one step closer to becoming a reality in July 2017.
The project hit a stumbling block in October 2014 when the Queensland Government refused to provide a $2.5m bank guarantee for the fruit and vegetable cannery but this week Lockyer Valley Regional Council agreed to provide a smaller guarantee of $1m.
The Lockyer Valley Fruit & Vegetable Processing Company said in a statement released today the Council decision kept the project afloat and the operation had moved to detailed financing negotiations
"They (Council) will assist with guarantor status for up to $1 million underwriting of the seed capital requirements and assistance to obtain further State and Federal government input," the company statement said.
"The final mix of investor equity and bank debt is expected to be determined next year."
Chief Executive Colin Dorber said the company was near the end of its financing negotiation to inject upwards of $2.5 million of seed capital into the venture in coming days.
"The Lockyer Valley Fruit and Vegetable Processing had now mandated a senior corporate advisory firm and mainstream banking group to progress both an Information Memorandum for investors for release at the end of June and to settle the determination by then of a recommended equity-debt ratio to totally fund the cannery," Mr Dorber said.
He said the Company would raise around $50 million in equity.
"As the financing negotiations will be in a commercial-in-confidence environment, we do not anticipate making further public statements about the project until the formal release of the Information Memorandum," he said.
Vegetables primarily from the Lockyer Valley will be processed at the proposed 23.500 square metre cannery as well as tropical fruits and vegetables from throughout the rest of Queensland.
Its initial production focus will be as the only Australian-based beetroot cannery in addition to pineapple and tomato runs, and later corn, replacing with a consumer-backed domestic product, millions of cans of currently imported vegetable and fruit product.