GrainCorp is moving another of its executive big guns as it prepares to float its MaltCo business, on the Australian Securities Exchange late this year.
Chairman, Graham Bradley, will join GrainCorp chief executive officer, Mark Palmquist, to lead the demerged business, already the world's fourth-largest maltster.
A search is also underway to recruit a new managing director for the GrainCorp to fill Mr Palmquist's boots.
Mr Bradley, who has only just notched up two years in the chair at GrainCorp, will become chairman of the strong performing malt business if the demerger proceeds as planned.
The split is expected to be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement, subject to shareholder, GrainCorp board, court and regulatory approvals, after GrainCorp's annual results are released in November.
The malt division, which has malting and distribution assets in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia, contributed $170 million in earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation to GrainCorp's results in the 2018 financial year, and $73m in the first half of 2018-19.
Richards for chair's job
In the lead up to the MaltCo spin-off, board director, Peter Richards, has taken on a new deputy chairman's role at GrainCorp and will assume the chairman's seat once the demerger is completed and Mr Bradley moves camps.
Mr Richards, who has a global corporate background in the resources, explosives and mining equipment sector, has been a GrainCorp director since late 2015.
Mr Bradley joined GrainCorp in May 2017 specifically to replace long-serving director and southern Queensland farmer, Don Taylor, in the chairman's role.
His stellar business track record includes numerous leadership roles, including heading the Business Council of Australia for two years, and being current chairman of HSBC Bank Australia, Energy Australia, Virgin Australia and Infrastructure NSW.
Confirmation of Mr Bradley's planned shift follows Mr Palmquist stepping aside as managing director in early April, prior to eventually taking on the MaltCo job.
Search for new MD
Although still CEO at the grain logistics, marketing and processing company for the time being, Mr Palmquist was initially expected to be replaced by current chief operating officer, Klaus Pamminger, but GrainCorp has instead begun an international search for a new managing director and CEO after Mr Pamminger recently opted to keep his COO's role.
A company statement to shareholders said Mr Pamminger wanted to focus on the successful delivery of the substantial opportunities identified through the integration of the company's grains and oils business, which will occur after the malt demerger.
Shareholders have been told to expect the release of a scheme booklet, containing detailed information about the proposed demerger, after 2018-19 full-year results are released.
However, market speculators have also suggested GrainCorp may still opt to sell the MaltCo business for about $2 billion if a willing buyer stepped up before the float.
A final round of market assessments was understood to be contemplated by GrainCorp so potential buyers a look in before the demerger process heated up, according to the Australian Financial Review.
However, two weeks ago Mr Palmquist was quick to insist the MaltCo demerger was on track and it would remain the primary focus of the company's remaining actions associated with the portfolio review.
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