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Wholesale fruit and veg empire up for urgent sale

David Prestipino -

Administrators have taken control of one of Western Australia's biggest agribusinesses that partly owns Indigenous fruit and vegetable company Abundance Produce Australia.

Urgent expressions of interest are being sought by Hamilton Murphy Advisory's Stephen Dixon and Brett Orzel to restructure or purchase Odeum Produce Pty Ltd, according to ASIC documents.

While the Abundance entity, of which it owns 49 per cent, was not affected, shares in the Indigenous business were also for sale.

Odeum was established in 1988 and reportedly now generates annual revenue upwards of $60 million and employs about 100 staff, although the extent of its debt was still unknown.

It formed a strategic partnership in 2019 with Abundance, a majority-owned First Nations business headed by ex-West Coast star Phil Matera.

Abundance operates from a purpose-built 12,000sqm distribution centre in Canning Vale, supplying fruit and vegetables across WA, aided by remote sites in the Pilbara and Kimberley, including the Gorgon project on Barrow Island.

Administrators said Odeum Farms was a major supplier of fruit and vegetables to supermarket chains in WA and across Australia, with several brands including Rockstar Melons and Mr Mushroom.

It has locations in Baldivis and Wanneroo and affiliated farm partners in Geraldon, Carnarvon and Kununurra.

Assets of fhe business comprise stock, plant and equipment and intellectual property, including the business name.

Mr Dixon and Mr Orzel said another Odeum business – Freshcorp Farms (100% owned) - was also not affected by EOI, but shares in it and Abundance were also for sale.

"An Information Memorandum will be provided to those parties who execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement and provide a $500 non-refundable deposit," they said.

Expressions of interest close at 5pm on Friday September 29.


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