Loss-making livestock exporter Wellard is undertaking a share placement and entitlement offer as part of a $52 million capital raising it hopes will allow it to exploit a predicted improvement in trading conditions.The firm, which in March cut its first-half loss by 25 per cent but was still $18 million in the red, on Monday said the $6 million placement, $19.7 million entitlement offer and $26 million capital notes issue were necessary following an extended period of reduced margins and cash flow."As we expect an improvement in cattle supply over time, we need to be ready to capitalise on our competitive advantages in the marketplace if and when this eventuates." chief executive Mauro Balzarini said in a statement.Wellard said it would spend $2.8 million to buy the 50 per cent of Chinese joint venture company Wellao Agricultural Co it does not already own, with the rest of the money used to bolser working capitalWellao - a 50-50 joint venture with Chinese-owned Fulida Group - plans to build two feedlots and an abattoir to process imported Australian cattle.The placement of 25 million new shares will be priced at 24 cents per security, with the fully underwritten one-for-four entitlement offer priced at 18.5 cents, representing a 24 per cent discount to the 15-day average trading price.
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