Maryborough Sugar Factory CEO Mike Barry has extended his contract with the company.
Maryborough Sugar Factory CEO Mike Barry has extended his contract with the company. Alistair Brightman

CEO extends contract

MARYBOROUGH Sugar Factory CEO Mike Barry yesterday extended his contract through to the end of January 2012 to help steer the company through the takeover bid by Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol.

The news will shore up the value of MSF shares, currently trading at $4.45, a figure riding more than $1 higher than when Mitr Phol moved to take a controlling interest in one of Australia's oldest milling companies.

Mr Barry's continued influence will be a steadying factor in a year that has seen a February share trading halt as Cyclone Yasi threatened north Queensland sugar cane crops and a crush substantially smaller than the mills wish to process.

It will also be a stabilising factor in the corporate architecture of the newlook company, still bedding down after embarking on a 50/50 joint venture with Bundaberg Sugar.

In April, 2010, Maryborough Sugar announced it would pay $20 million to Bundaberg Sugar to link its Mulgrave Mill with three Bundaberg mills in the north at South Johnstone, Babinda and Tableland.

Mitr Phol, the world's fifth-largest sugar producer, has moved through the due diligence period and all indicators point toward an early acceptance of the takeover offer by the MSF board.

Mr Barry refused to be drawn yesterday as to his new corporate destination, but did say that MSF's high-flying share price was to be expected after a takeover offer.

"The offer was for roughly 30% above the market price of the shares which is to be expected in context," Mr Barry said.


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