K&L Gates Advises Wattle Health Australia Limited on Organic Dairy Project Financing

22 June 2018

Melbourne - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has acted in a capital raising for Wattle Health Australia Limited (WHA) of AUD74 million consisting of a non-renounceable retail entitlement offer of AUD33.9 million, a AUD20 million private placement to institutional investors, and a debt facility of AUD20 million.

The financing will support WHA’s obligations under the Corio Bay Dairy Group (CBDG) Joint Venture, which is a joint venture between WHA, Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia Limited, and Niche Dairy Pty Limited, to build a dedicated organic spray drying facility in Victoria. Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia Limited is a cooperative for Australian organic dairy farmers supplying nearly 75 percent of Australia’s organic milk production.

The K&L Gates team that advised WHA was led by Melbourne capital markets partner Andrew Gaffney, who was assisted by special counsel Neil Miller, senior associate Rania Seoud, and graduate Paris Taylor. Finance partner Alan Maclean, real estate partner Sandra Steele, tax special counsel Rebecca Bolton, and cross-border corporate partners Virginia Tam (Hong Kong) and Paul Tetlow (London) also provided support to the team.

The capital raising was a culmination of six months work for the K&L Gates team, which included negotiations and preparation of agreements to establish the CBDG incorporated joint venture structure with secured funding arrangements, material supply arrangements, processing arrangements, and offtake arrangements; preparation of the specifications and contractual terms for the construction of the greenfield turn-key operations and the spray drying facility; as well as a detailed entitlement prospectus to update market disclosures following WHA’s initial IPO and ASX listing in March 2017.

Gaffney said: “This capital raising is transformational for the client and reflects a collaborative approach in designing and implementing their business plans and fulfilment of their strategic objectives. The CBDG joint venture gives WHA a significant competitive advantage in sourcing, processing, and having access to finished organic dairy products for expanding Australian and Asian consumer demands. We are delighted with this result for the client.”

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