Moon Lake’s sole owner, Mr Lu Xianfeng, said he was excited about the purchase of the VDL group of farms and was committed to its long-term future.
Moon Lake Investments Pty Ltd has made a $280 million binding offer, subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), to acquire all the Tasmanian dairy assets held by Tasmanian Land Company Ltd and its related entities, including the Van Diemen’s Land Company.
Mr Lu said he was encouraged by the broad support from key political, community and business stakeholders, after a series of meetings in Tasmania over the past three days.
Mr Lu said Moon Lake would work with VDL management after the acquisition was finalized on detailed plans for future investment.
“What we can say is that we have the capital to carry out the investments and we have the will,” Mr Lu said.
“We understand that there is much room for increasing productivity and achieving growth and are committed to invest, subject to detailed businesses cases to support it.
Mr Lu said Moon Lake would work with VDL management, after the acquisition was finalized, on detailed plans for future investment.
He said Moon Lake was positive about the Foreign Investment Review Board approval process which he expected would be finalized by the end of January.
Mr Lu intends to work with the existing management of the Tasmanian dairy assets to seek continued gains in productivity, while continuing to supply milk to Tasmanian milk processors.
Offers of employment would be made to all existing employees and their existing employment arrangements would be maintained.
Mr Lu said he expected no immediate changes to the current board and management of VDL but – over time – would look to have more Tasmanian directors appointed.
Moon Lake was also interested in partnering with Australian investors in the business or in joint ventures and would consider approaches for up to a 40% shareholding by Australian investors in VDL.
Mr Lu said Moon Lake had met with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Council and had committed to honour VDL’s memorandum of understanding with the community regarding protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and improved access.
He said Moon Lake had a track record as a good corporate citizen and would work with all relevant state and federal authorities on environmental and sustainability issues to enhance the VDL brand.
The sole owner of Moon Lake Investments is Mr Lu Xianfeng, a successful Chinese businessman with a track record of achievement across a range of industries and significant business interests in Australia.
Mr Lu is the Managing Director and Executive Chairman of ASX listed Kresta Holdings Limited, Australia’s biggest window covering retailer.
The Kresta group, established more than 40 years ago, employs more than 700 people within Australia and New Zealand. Mr Lu is also the founder and largest shareholder of Ningbo Xianfeng New Material Co. Ltd (APLUS), a company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China, with a market capitalisation of approximately A$1.52 billion.
In addition to being the controlling shareholder of Kresta, APLUS manufactures a range of sun-shading materials and products which are sold in 68 countries worldwide.
Prior to founding APLUS in 2003, Mr Lu ran a successful seafood trading and processing business, Happiness Seafood Company, based in Ningbo, China.