Alliance look at Blue Sky revealed

Alliance Group has revealed it entered into negotiations over a potential purchase of Blue Sky Meats' assets but no agreement was reached.

In a recent email update to suppliers, chief executive Grant Cuff said the negotiations ''concluded amicably''.

Alliance Group frequently considered potential business opportunities and when there was something firm to report, it did so to its shareholders, suppliers and staff.

''In this instance, as no agreement was reached, it is not intended to elaborate any further on the discussions,'' Mr Cuff said.

Blue Sky Meats is a Southland-based company which recorded a $3.8 million after-tax loss for the year ending March.

That compared with a $449,149 loss last year and a $3.6 million profit the previous year.

Meanwhile, Lean Meats, which has a plant at Oamaru, has announced a bonus payment to its farmer supplier shareholders after a stronger company performance in 2013.

Chief executive Richard Thorp announced a return to its Atkins Ranch Producer Group providing shareholder farmer suppliers an average of 31c a kg or $5.74 a lamb.

The return could be attributed to farmers supplying lambs at a market-reflected procurement price, through the company being able to market and sell more packed items from a carcass, and gaining export status to China earlier in the year, Mr Thorp said.

While there had been a market correction at the farm gate, returns had improved for suppliers from the previous year and export certification to China had opened up a market opportunity to a growing demand for lamb cuts.

The company remained confident it could continue to perform at similar levels based on increased demand from China and sales of lamb primal cuts into the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, he said.

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