CDI woes grow

CDI woes grow


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A director of troubled milk processor Camperdown Dairy Industries (CDI) has said he wished he’d never heard of the company.

A director of troubled milk processor Camperdown Dairy Industries (CDI) has said he wished he’d never heard of the company.

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Queensland’s Graham Huddy, trading under the name Isa Sun Pty Ltd, is one of two directors of the company.

He became a director, after buying shares off fellow Queensland mining magnate Bill McDonald, in October last year.

CDI was put into administration, two days after it sold its Braeside factory – run by subsidiary Camperdown Powders - to Tasmanian organic milk processor Bellamy’s Organic’s.

“I wish I’d never heard of them (CDI) - it’s a lot easier to talk well, and make decisions, as long as it’s not your own money,” Mr Huddy said.

“I never wanted to be in it – I suppose, at the end of the day, I ended up in there by default

“I backed a bloke and it didn’t work.”

Mr Huddy, and wife Linda, made their fortune in the mining boom, in and around Mount Isa, Queensland.

They sold their mining services business to Industrea, just months before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008.

They moved from Mount Isa to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, where they set up Peachester Lodge equine property.

Mr Huddy said he never saw himself as a financier.

“I am an earth mover, finance is not my line,” he said.

“You need to stick with what you know, when you want to make a quid.”

“I suppose it’s like nobody looks after your money like you do yourself – you can get the picture, from that.”

Bellamy’s has defended its due diligence on the acquisition of Camperdown Powder, which has had its export licence suspended by Chinese authorities.

The company remains in a trading halt, as the company seeks to unravel why the licence was suspended.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Bellamy’s said the CNCA had made inquiries and requested certain information of Camperdown and the Federal government.

“Bellamy’s understands that the inquiries raised by the CNCA were as a result of allegations, received by the CNCA from a third-party complainant relating to historical filing and records and to certain quality issues relating to Camperdown’s processing facility,” the statement said.

Bellamy’s paid $28.5 million for a 90 per cent stake in Camperdown Powder, to shore up access to the Chinese market.

It paid $10.5 million cash, for the Braeside factory, with the remaining $18 million in the form of 3.19 million Bellamy’s Organic shares.

Fellow CDI director Gavin Evans, was described on the Evans Agribusiness Trading (EAT) Group – Camperdown’s parent  – as having a vision for “sustainable farming models and how businesses in the supply chain needs to be run and operated in the 21st century and beyond.”

He was described as having more than 20 years’ experience in corporate strategy, finance, business transformation and executive management roles.

Mr Evans was chief executive of CDI, at the time of the Bellamy’s sale.

But matters have been complicated by CDI being placed into administration.

KordaMentha administrator Craig Shepard, confirmed he was looking at the sale of Camperdown Powders.

CAMPERDOWN FACTORY: The former Camperdown dairy factory, at the centre of a dispute over Camperdown Dairy International (CDI)

CAMPERDOWN FACTORY: The former Camperdown dairy factory, at the centre of a dispute over Camperdown Dairy International (CDI)

It appeared the directors put the company into voluntary administration, due to a call option to buy the former Camperdown dairy factory, in the western Victorian town.

The site is believed to be owned by Mary Bevilacqua’s Aqueous Corporation; she went to the Supreme Court to stop the demolition of the former factory.

In May, 2014, Mrs Bevilacqua said CDI had agreed to buy the site.

A spokesman for Bellamy’s said there had been no impact on the sale, as a result of the administration.

“The deal has been concluded and Bellamy’s is the owner,” the spokesman said.

“Bellamy’s is aware of the process that Craig Shepard will undertake, but it is has no comment on what he may or may not do.

“Any comment on the administration process is with him.”

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