Freight Rail

With float bidder looming, CBH offers options to members

Grain exporter CBH Group has offered a range of potential business models for its members to choose from, as part of a review which stemmed from a failed proposal to float the business on the ASX earlier this year.

CBH has released a 60-page booklet, available here, which explores a number of structural and governance options for how equity can be retained, distributed or transferred by the group.

Group chairman Wally Newman says members should take advantage of this opportunity to provide input into how CBH is structured and governed.

“We have conducted a very candid review, considering comprehensive grower feedback and advice from independent advisors in financial services, co-operative and corporate governance, legal and tax experts,” Newman said on August 15.

“The aim is to provide an unbiased information package that gives growers a good understanding of all of the moving pieces in this debate – and from there we can have an informed discussion about what suits CBH now and into the future.”

The CBH board agreed to undertake the review in March, after it rejected a bid to list the business on the ASX, and said the GrainCorp-supported float proposal would “destroy value” for its growers and their network.

Australian Grains Champion, the body responsible for the initial float proposal, plans to speak directly with CBH’s growers about the potential float.

Australian Grains Champion director Brad Jones this week told Australian Financial Review the CBH board would not talk to his company, and accused the board of encouraging a fear campaign against an ASX listing.

“We will go directly to growers,” Jones reportedly told AFR as a result.

CBH will continue with its review, with plans to hold a series of meetings over the next few weeks to further explore the issues raised in the booklet.

“The review will ensure growers have critical input into the structure and governance of CBH,” Newman said. “The feedback gathered from the survey will assist the board to make a recommendation next year and seek a grower vote if it’s required.”