Bellamy's booms

Laura McBain Managing Director of Bellamy's Australia.

Laura McBain Managing Director of Bellamy's Australia.

LAUNCESTON-based infant formula and baby food maker Bellamy’s Australia has been embraced by investors at debut on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The stock surged as much as 34 per cent after listing at 11am yesterday, and shortly after  was trading 30 per cent above the $1 a share offer price at $1.30.

On the same morning the $25 million initial public offer began trading, the company announced it had received accreditation to register a new company in China, Tatura Milk Industries.

With a total of 2.2 billion shares out, the company is now trading with a market capitalisation of about $123.5 million.

‘‘The recent certification of TMI will allow Bellamy’s to immediately recommence exporting to China and strongly positions the company to effectively execute its growth strategies in China, being only one of a handful of companies certified organic by both Australian and Chinese authorities,’’ managing director Laura McBain said.

Lead brokers Wilson HTM marketed the float as a way to gain exposure to the growing worldwide fashion for certified organic foods and an increased appetite for dairy products in Asia.

Investors were also attracted by forecasts for an annual dividend yield of 1.6 per cent, based on a payout ratio of 30 per cent. 

Quality Life, the family company of BRW Rich Lister Bruce Neill has emerged as a substantial shareholder, controlling 8.62 pert cent. Hobart based Mr Neill founded financial services company Select Managed Funds, which he sold for scrip to the Australian Wealth Management in 2006. He made a fortune when that company was acquired by IOOF in 2009. More recently he has been in the race horse breeding business.

Fund managers that are understood to have signed up for a parcel of shares include Wilson Asset Management, Schroders, Thorney Group, and Karara Capital.

The IPO allowed the previous majority shareholder, embattled retail entrepreneur Jan Cameron, to sell down her 55 per cent stake. Ms Cameron is the entrepreneur behind outdoor adventure gear retailer Kathmandu Holdings and embattled Discount Superstores Group.

The company, formerly Tasmanian Pure Foods, which trades as Bellamy’s Organic, is a wholesale distributor of branded infant formula and a range of baby and toddler food products. The products are also sold direct to retail customers via Bellamy’s website.

Local stockists include Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, Costco and Big W. The brand is also distributed through select supermarkets in New Zealand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is estimated that in financial year 2014, 15 per cent of revenue will have been derived from non-Australian markets.

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