Tiu’s ANI eyes JV with BuCor for Palawan property

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By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter

AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI) is seeking to forge a joint venture with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to develop the latter’s 2,000 hectare property in Palawan into an agri-tourism corn plantation.

In a disclosure on Friday, the company led by businessman Antonio L. Tiu said its board of directors gave the go-signal to negotiate and enter into a joint venture with BuCor for the Palawan property.

“The company is set to negotiate a possible Joint Venture with the Department of Justice through the Bureau of Corrections for the development of about 2,000 hectares of property to an integrated Agri-Tourism Corn Plantation in Palawan,” ANI said.

ANI will provide the funds to develop the corn plantation, while the BuCor will provide the land. The two parties will conduct due diligence, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.

“The proposed Joint Venture is intended to expand the Company’s business through corn production and agri-tourism,” ANI said, adding this project is expected to be a profit center.

Other details, like the amount of investment and profit sharing, are still being finalized.

The BuCor currently operates the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa, alongside facilities in Muntinlupa City; Mandaluyong City; Panabo, Davao; Occidental Mindoro, Zamboanga City and Abuyog, Leyte.

In a separate disclosure, ANI said the board approved its divestment from fully-owned subsidiaries First Class Agriculture Corp. and Lucky Fruit and Vegetable Products, Inc..

ANI said it will use the funds from the sale of First Class Agriculture and Lucky Fruit to fund expansion projects, raise working capital, and to clean up the company’s books.

Both companies are engaged in trading commodities.

ANI’s board also gave the green light to negotiate the acquisition of a majority stake in Nutriceutical Food Corp.

“The intended acquisition will help boost the corporations market for organic coconut products in China,” the company said.

Nutriceutical is “engaged in the manufacturing, marketing, distribution, import and export of organic foods, drinks, and other natural commodities, and has a wide market in China.”

Due diligence is still being conducted. No other details were available.

For the first nine months, AgriNurture’s attributable net income was at P58.157 million, up 172% from a year ago. Revenues surged 120% to P3.422 billion, compared to the same period last year, with Philippine operations accounting for 49%, while foreign operations accounted for 51%.

Shares in AgriNurture went up 4 centavos or 0.30% to close at P13.50 each at the stock exchange on Friday.