SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp announced on March 25 that it has entered in to a binding agreement to purchase all the issued shares in Kirin Australia Pty Ltd from Kirin Brewery Company Limited for the sum of A$10.55 million (inclusive of working capital).

Kirin Australia was founded in 1976 as a joint venture with Barrett Burston Malting. It operates a 46,000 tonnes PA malt house at Welshpool, Perth, Western Australia (WA).

GrainCorp Managing Director Alison Watkins said, “The Kirin Australia malt house is in an ideal location for supplying malt into the expanding South East Asian beverage market, so having a production base in Western Australia is an important diversification step for GrainCorp Malt.

Western Australia is also a large producer of malting barley, so our malting barley accumulation risk will be spread across eastern and western Australian grain growing regions.

“GrainCorp will also gain access to varieties of barley grown in WA that are not readily available to us in the east. This is an important competitive factor for us, and should allow GrainCorp Malt to appeal to a wider range of customers, particularly in Asia.”

The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-April 2011. The price is subject to adjustments based on working capital and certain other matters.