Elders sell-off talk returns

The Elders chief executive has poured cold water on renewed talk of the imminent sale of the rural services business, stating that no formal bid has yet been tabled.

Real Estate Business confirmed in May that Elders had no immediate plans to break up its real estate arm as part of the company's ongoing sell-off in its battle for survival.

Now, Elders CEO Mark Allison has confirmed that a number of interested parties have been looking at the entire company.

According to Fairfax Media, these include private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners, live export group Wellard and Asian investors.

Mr Allison said no bid has yet been lodged with the Elders board and that he is focused on day-to-day operations.

He added that private equity was looking at Elders given that it is "getting to the point of a turnaround in fortune".

"In terms of formal stuff, there is no formal discussion. We are just the running the business as per our operational priorities, being methodical and getting the debt down to an acceptable level,” he told Fairfax, adding that he's meeting with his teams in regional areas to talk through his eight-point plan to revive the company.

Elders' real estate arm established 14 new offices last year – a figure it says will be eclipsed this year.

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