• Top Shelf International's 374-hectare agave farm is a farm-to-bottle operation.
    Top Shelf International's 374-hectare agave farm is a farm-to-bottle operation.

In a move to provide working capital and pay down debt, Top Shelf International (TSI) has signed a $5 million sale and leaseback deal on its Eden Lassie agave farm with a company owned by non executive director, Stephen Grove.

The sale does not include the agave farm’s distillery plant and equipment assets or agave plants. Its most recent launch, Act of Treason, is made exclusively from Agave tequilana grown on the Eden Lassie farm near Airlie Beach in Queensland. 

Proceeds will used by the company for working capital purposes, including for further reduction of debt. The company reported a net loss after tax of $48.3 million for FY23, and then completed a “significant reset” of the company in 2H after a strategic review revealed an urgent need to change the business model.  

The binding term sheet reflects the following key terms inclusive of:

  • Total purchase consideration of $5.0 million;
  • initial 10 year term with option to extend for a further 5 years;
  • commencing lease cost of $0.5million per annum, and
  • the right for the company to repurchase the assets at any future date for a minimum of $6.5million.

TSI has been investigating a sale and leaseback transaction as part of its capital strategy that previously contemplated the sale of its agave distillery plant and equipment assets, in addition to land assets.

The agreed sale of only the agave farmland and structural improvement assets enables the company to retain full ownership and control of the agave agronomy activities and distillery operations.

TSI has executed the binding term sheet with an entity related to non-executive director Stephen Grove and remains subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting.

TSI anticipates lodging a Notice of Meeting inclusive of an Independent Experts Report with the ASX and ASIC by 22 April 2024. Subject to shareholder approval, completion of the transaction is expected to occur in late May 2024.

Packaging News

In the first year of PKN’s Women in Packaging Awards programme, industry has stepped up with meaning. The response has been phenomenal, and the judges had their work cut out for them selecting the finalists from a competitive field of high-calibre nominees.

At The Hive Awards in Sydney today, the Best Packaging category was won by Don Smallgoods, part of George Weston Foods, for its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods. This innovative packaging is a departure from the conventional thermoformed packs and addresses consumer demands for better functionality, sustainability, and product visibility.

Applications for the 2024 APCO Annual Awards are now open, and are open to all of industry to apply.