HOPEFUL: Sucrogen's Russell Brown is hoping for a successful conclusion to his company's bid for the Proserpine Sugar Mill at the creditor meeting on Friday. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times
HOPEFUL: Sucrogen's Russell Brown is hoping for a successful conclusion to his company's bid for the Proserpine Sugar Mill at the creditor meeting on Friday. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times

Crunch time for mill

FRIDAY, December 9 might go down in history as the day the Proserpine Mill was finally sold.

Sucrogen's $120 million bid is due to be voted on at a second creditor's meeting and the company's man on the ground in Proserpine Russell Brown said he remained confident for a positive outcome, particularly given the number of proxy votes already received.

"The responses I've received from both [mill] employees and growers alike has been overwhelming. Of 189 potential employees and 219 members voting at the last meeting, I've received to date approximately 370 proxies in favour of the Sucrogen deal," Mr Brown said.

"We're very confident that we have de-risked any potential events that may occur on Friday and I'm looking forward to a good roll-up of all creditors to hopefully complete this deal."

Chairman of COFCO Australia Keith De Lacy is one person who disagrees with this point of view, saying his company's $128 million offer had not even had a fair chance.

"The administrators said if we got an asset sale agreement by November 25 that it would be presented to member/creditors together with the Sucrogen one. That hasn't been the case, so we were misled," Mr De Lacy said.

"Even now our offer is $6-8million better than the Sucrogen offer and I find it impossible to understand how an administrator could be recommending to creditors the lesser of the two offers. If I was a member I'd be very angry," he said.

"We've always said we would abide by the decision of members, but we've been pushed into a situation where the members are going to have very little say and will not be in possession of all the info when they do."


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