OPERATORS of Western Victorian Livestock Exchange, Mortlake, have rejected claims of a potential sale to rival saleyards group, Regional Livestock Exchanges.
Directors of both companies contacted this week by Stock & Land denied talks had taken place about a potential buy-out.
The rumours are bordering on ridiculous
SELX director Brendan Abbey, operator of the WVLX, said normally the board would ignore industry side-chat but these suggestions were scurrilous and totally unfounded.
“We haven’t seen or spoken to anyone from RLX and we don’t plan to,” Mr Abbey said.
“Admittedly we have copped a fair bit of unsavoury media since we opened the Mortlake facility but none of it was of our doing.
“We are in the throes of tiding up those events from the past and we do look forward to the spring when selling opportunities are expected to improve”.
AAM Investment Group managing director, Garry Edwards, operator of six saleyards within the RLX portfolio, said the rumours were bordering on “ridiculous”.
“We are about to open a new site at Ballarat and we have only recently taken over the management of the Camperdown saleyards,” he said.
“We have no interest in buying Mortlake and I would suspect they would have no interest in selling given the facility was only opened in January.”
The sale speculation stemmed from industry rumours that WVLX was not drawing the numbers needed to remain profitable.
WVLX site manager Tim Nowell said the centre had failed to captured the supply of culled dairy cows in winter which was initially budgeted for.
“You could say that since the weather broke in June the area has been living through a wet drought, and the cattle that were held on-farm in winter have remained tightly held,” Mr Nowell said.
“When times were dry during the autumn we had several large store markets that saw the largest sale yard close to 4000 head.
“Our store market yardings average 2440/head each sale, while our prime market sales have averaged 638/head.
“And when we look at other prime sales around the region especially in the prominent dairy districts, their yardings have comprised 90 per cent dairy cows and very few beef cattle.
“Our time in the sun will come again and we’ll be happy to compare the numbers after the beef selling season.”