GERMAN manufacturing powerhouse Nordzucker has offered a lifeline to Queensland sugar miller Mackay Sugar, with a proposal to buy 70 per cent of the business.
Mackay Sugar is one of the few remaining Australian-owned sugar millers but is faced with soaring debt levels of up to $180 million.
The company confirmed the interest from Nordzucker on its website at the end of October.
A proposed sale of the company’s Mossman Mill will not form part of the deal.
The Mackay Sugar board said in its release that it gave in-principle support to the non-binding proposal from Nordzucker.
There are still a number of obstacles to be cleared before the deal goes ahead, including agreement on the final share structure, Foreign Investment Review Board approval and approval from 75 per cent or more of Mackay Sugar grower shareholders.
The transaction is scheduled to be completed in late March 2019 subject to the relevant approvals.
Nordzucker is Germany’s second largest sugar refiner.
Mackay Sugar produces about 800,000 tonnes of raw sugar annually for the Australian market and for export.