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Mill up for sale

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE Penang sugar mill in Rakiraki is among non-productive assets that the Fiji Sugar Corporation is putting up for sale.

The FSC has opened negotiations for the sale of various properties in their portfolio to address future financing needs, says board chairman Vishnu Mohan.

"This should inject fresh cash inflows to assist cash planning from March, 2018," he said.

FSC CEO Graham Clark said assets that were non-productive would be sold.

"We have productive assets and non-productive assets and the non-productive assets, we've already advertised and we are going start disposing of those assets," he said.

"It's all about realising some cash and resources to put back into the business so we don't rely all the time on our lenders or on Government.

"So we are trying to generate some revenue ourselves."

Mr Mohan said the productive assets would undergo a review.

"So the Penang mill was never going to be part of those productive assets.

"It's now closed and surely to be demolished.

"Our remaining mills are all good.

"We've identified what needs to be done and over two years we can return them to design capacity and design efficiency and they will be capable of handling four to five millon tonnes of cane.

"That's more than double what we currently have.

"We are very confident that the assets that we have are in good condition and with a bit of maintenance and upgrading they will be able to do the job."

Mr Mohan said an increase in Government guarantee earlier this year to $322 million for FSC provided comfort and re-assurance to debt providers.

"EXIM Bank of India has offered fresh funding facilities to FSC which will be used for the year.

"These banking relations are examples of institutions that have confidence in FSC going forward and support FSC's strategic plans with solid facilities.

"ANZ Bank continues to support us with our working capital needs.

"The corporation has engaged the Fiji Government to consider and implement the conversion of current Government loans of $173,816,930 to shares in FSC and furthermore to propose the acquisition of minority shares.

"FSC has also engaged consultants to carry out a capital optimisation review to reduce current debts and to source additional capital as equity or hybrid debt instruments for FSC."

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