03 Jun Client Showcase: Selko Piggery
Pork to Fork
Now, back to business. The Australian pork industry is bringing home the bacon. Australians eat about one third of their body mass in pork each year (circa 24.2kg). That is no porky. With 9.2kg being fresh pork and 15kg of processed products like ham and bacon. Australian production is around 360,000 tonnes (or 4,850,000 pigs) with a gross value of production of around $1,000,000,000.
Read about the dynamic Andrew Schult from Selko Piggery below…
Andrew Schult has a background resume that would normally consume a commoner several lifetimes to acquire. During his youth he worked on the construction of Dartmouth Dam as a tunnel liner welder and then in Bass Strait as an offshore subsea pipe line welder working fortnight on / fortnight off. He then became a construction supervisor at Freeport International Copper Mine in Iryan Jaya, Indonesia before returning to the Latrobe Valley and worked as a pressure pipe welder at Yallourn W Power Station. During this time, he purchased first real estate at Thorpdale, Victoria all the while he worked on five oil / gas offshore platforms and the laying of associated subsea pipelines. And all this was over 30 years ago. He graduated from the school of tough love and the story really starts from here.
What his commercial pilgrimage actually meant was that Andrew and his wife Katherine procured a war chest of intrinsic knowledge and fashioned a level of commercial insightfulness that tilted towards an intelligent bias. The opportunity to acquire the 500 sow Selko Piggery in recent times dovetailed into their existing farming operation with unadulterated precision.
Agriculture; generic by nature as a chosen profession, is inherent with systemic volatility given the seasonality of production and outcomes. Laden balance sheets delivering single digits returns, agriculture in short hankers for high yielding cash flow to feed the economic demands of the balance sheet (caveat to this statement is a raw generalization with a stretched and very much a debatable truth).
The piggery itself was a mastery of production from the documented three tiers of reporting; social, environmental and economic. The previous vendors created a blue print that focused on all three elements in equal force, an asset that Andrew and Katherine recognised immediately.
Selko Piggery also offered Andrew and Katherine a tangential integrated diversification of his current farming enterprises. Grain and fodder production could be value added by being delivered into the piggery whilst his other agricultural production systems ran in parallel: beef and dairy.
Ironically, the biggest challenge Andrew and Katherine faced was their personal journey in acquiring finance for the acquisition of this asset into their existing portfolio of properties. The challenge was simply linguistic in nature with their peripheral understanding of what the banking fraternity required to fund the transaction being light touch points during his journey into agriculture.
Timing, like all commercial transactions, was critical, but critical timing was lost with an encumbered bank kicking the funding can down the road to what was never going to be a funding solution. As a non-banker themselves, how would Andrew and Katherine ever know the behavioral sensitivities around a complex credit submission.
Robinson Sewell Partners was proud to be a part of Andrew and Katherine’s ultimate funding success.