THE failed United Dairy Power milk processing business at Murray Bridge and Jervois will be rescued by the Adelaide-based Beston Global Food Company.
The company headed by Adelaide businessman Roger Sexton expects to reopen the plants in September, initially employing 12 people.
Dr Sexton said the aim is to return the business to manufacturing 100 million litres of milk as soon as possible and to more than 200 million litres in future.
“A lot of the dairy farmers have signed contracts with other dairy manufacturers and until they come our of contracts from three months onwards, we can’t bring the milk supply back in,” he said.
The business rebranded as Beston Global Food Company will produce cheddar, milk powder and mozzarella cheese from new equipment.
UDP’s former mozzarella brand and processing equipment was sold to Murray Goulburn in May.
Its markets are expected to be primarily in Asia where Beston has representatives in Thailand Vietnam, Brunei and China.
Dr Sexton said Bexton will invest significant capital in the plants in the next three years as it rebuilds the business which fell to only 30 per cent of its capacity under its previous owners, the Chinese company, 5 Star SA Pty Ltd, before it was placed into administration.
United Dairy Power employed about 130 staff and contractors in Murray Bridge and Jervois before being placed in the hands of receivers PPB Advisory in late April.
At the time, it was estimated that the region would lose about $170 million in net wealth as a result of the closures.
The facilities at UDP have been involved in the production of cheese and other milk products for more than 40 years.
PPB Advisory partner Rod Slattery said the sales process attracted significant local and international interest.
“The sale of UDP’s Murray Bridge and Jervois facilities is a positive outcome for the South Australian dairy industry and community, ensuring the ongoing operation of the plants into the future,” Mr Slattery said.
“It is pleasing that the buyer, Beston Global Food Company, has signalled plans to invest significant capital to upgrade the facilities and increase the capacity of the existing operations to tap into growing demand for dairy products in the Asian market.
Mr Slattery said that all UDP staff entitlements will be paid out in full on or before June 30.