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Wellard primed for growth

FREMANTLE-BASED Wellard Group, one of Australia’s largest live sheep and cattle exporters, has announced a major expansion of its business interests following the restructure of the company and a change in ownership. Best known for its livestock export division, Wellard Rural Exports, the addition of new business divisions, accelerated by the appointment of Mauro Balzarini as principal, replacing his father and founder, Emilio, have propelled the groups holdings to more the $20 million worth of assets. The group’s newest divisions include property business Wellard Estates, investment arm Wellard Capital and Wellard Ships, part owner of the largest livestock carrier in the world. The group has also acquired a jet aircraft, largely for intra-company use but with views to developing an air charter business through its Wellard Aviation division. The newest investment for the group, however, has been an expansion into the buoyant resources sector. Through Wellard Capital, the group has taken a strategic shareholding in venture capital company Pearl Mining and Metals, which is currently exploring a number of prospective projects in a range of commodities including uranium, base metals and precious metals. Pearl Mining and Metals is the investment manager of the Pearl Resources Fund, which has a particular focus on exploration projects located in central and southern Africa and central Asia. Mr Balzarini said the group’s investment in the resources sector was expected to yield positive results for the company, on the back of the fund’s encouraging mining prospects and strong commodity prices.

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