ONE of southern Australia’s largest livestock exporting operations has changed hands, with Nutrien Ag Solutions’ sale today of its Landmark International business.
The company has been bought by the Rothwell family-owned Winten Group, with the support and continued involvement of current management, according to an official statement released by Nutrien earlier today.
The Landmark International business under its new ownership will now be known as Southern Australian International Livestock Services or SAILS.
Founded in 1972 by Garry Rothwell, the Winten Group is a major property development company with in excess of $2.2billion of project activity underway. The Rothwell family also have extensive and long-term investments in Australian agriculture, including NSW grazing properties through their Fernside Pastoral Company.
In its statement today Nutrien Ag Solutions, the combined business of Landmark and Ruralco created last year, said it is divesting the Landmark International business as part of a “focus on producers first and foremost”.
Nutrien Ag Solutions also owns Frontier International, which is a major Australian exporter of cattle from northern Australia, but that business was not included in the sale of Landmark International to the Winten Group.
In a statement to Beef Central this afternoon a Nutrien Ag Solutions spokesperson said the sale decision did not impact Frontier, saying it was business as usual for the northern livestock export business.
Asked if the decision to sell Landmark International signalled a lack of appetite for owning companies in the live export space, the spokesperson said Nutrien remained a strong supporter of live export.
“Nutrien Ag Solutions made the decision to divest the live export operation (Landmark International) to focus on its core business of getting the best possible prices for Australian livestock on the open market,” a spokesperson said.
“We believe that live export is an important part of the livestock industry and will continue to support the live export of both sheep and cattle. Nutrien Ag Solutions does not believe that the ownership of the live exporter is an important factor.”
Nutrien Ag Solutions Managing Director Rob Clayton said Nutrien Ag Solutions was fully committed to supporting the livestock industry and growers, finding the best markets for livestock both locally and internationally.
“Landmark International is a successful operation, reflecting best practice in the live export industry and we are proud to have maintained such a high standard,” said Mr Clayton said in the statement released today.
“I am extremely pleased Andy Ingle and his team who have shepherded this business to such success to date will now lead it independently. It is a great outcome for Australian livestock producers.”
Mr Clayton said during what is a very difficult time for Australian agriculture, “the time is right for Nutrien Ag Solutions to focus on what it does best, working closely with our clients to identify the best markets for their livestock.”
He said Nutrien Ag Solutions is fully supportive of the live export industry which has been and will continue to be an important market for many of clients.
“While Nutrien Ag Solutions will not own the Landmark International business going forward, live export will remain a key channel for our livestock agents across the country as they seek out markets for their client’s livestock.”
He assured clients that existing contracts would be completed. “As always, our relationships with our livestock clients and ongoing support of the Australian livestock industry remain paramount.”
Landmark International is a major exporter of beef cattle, dairy cattle and sheep from southern Australia to export markets including China, Russia, Israel, Japan, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Mr Ingle told Beef Central this afternoon the outcome is a very positive one for Landmark International.
“It will be business as usual with the current team focusing on supporting the existing Landmark International customer base overseas and sourcing of southern Australian livestock as we have been doing,” he said.