NZX Announces Sale of Australian Grain Data Business

Rural Bank has purchased the exchange’s non-core business for an undisclosed sum.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) has announced another sale of its non-core business today. This time, it’s the sale of its Australian grain data business to Rural Bank for an undisclosed figure.

The sale to Rural Bank, Australia’s only owned and operated dedicated agribusiness bank, will be effective as of August 31, 2018. As a result, the six Melbourne-based staff members of Australian Crop Forecasters and Profarmer Australia will transition with the sale. This will see NZX close its Melbourne office.

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According to the statement, the New Zealand exchange will write down NZ$2.1 million in intangible assets. As of December 31, 2017, the company had NZ$ 36.3 million in intangible assets.

CEO of NZX Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Source: LinkedIn

Commenting on the sale, CEO of NZX, Mark Peterson, said: “This divestment is a positive outcome for all parties. The transaction continues the NZX’s execution of its strategy announced in November last year, which outlined an increased focus back on its core markets business.”

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NZX selling off its non-core businesses

The selling of its Australian grain data business closely echoes a previous sale it made earlier this year. This was when the exchange sold its rural newspaper Farmers Weekly to its former owners Dean and Cushla Williamson. The amount of this sale was also undisclosed. It also saw the new entity keep on all of the existing 15 staff members.

So far this year, NZX shares have dipped 1.8 percent. They last traded at NZ$1.10. The exchange is planning to release its first-half earnings on August 15, 2018.

The company’s first-half results for 2017 showed a mixed performance overall. The group’s revenues were slightly lower year-over-year while operating costs saw a sizable decline relative to the same period a year ago.

Specifically, during the six month period through to June 2017, the exchange’s operating revenues came in at NZ$36.5 million ($26.5 million). The was a decline of around 3.6 percent year-over-year.

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