A US$190M merger between Australian Oilseed Investments (AOI), the company behind Cootamundra Oilseeds, and US company EDOC Acquisitions Corporation would create an Asian oilseed giant, Grain Central reported.

The merger was expected to lead to investment in AOI’s Central Queensland crushing plant, which would quadruple the company’s total Australian crushing capacity to 160,000 tonnes, the 8 March report said.

Following the merger, EOC would merge with AOI to form a subsidiary under the new Australian Oilseeds Holdings (AOH) entity, which was expected to become the largest cold-pressed oil and meal producer in the Asia Pacific region, Grain Central wrote.

The move would see AOI director and Cootamundra Oilseeds managing director Gary Seaton become the CEO and chair of AOH.

AOI chief financial officer Bob Wu would continue in his role with AOH.

“Upon the closing of this transaction, and our commencing trading as a publicly traded company, investors will have the opportunity to invest in Australian Oilseeds’ growth and mission to become a global leader in our market of providing chemical free non-GMO feed ingredients into the food supply chain,” Seaton was quoted as saying in a statement.

AOI currently produces cold pressed organic food-grade oils and vegetable protein meals from canola, sunflower, soyabean, safflower, linseed and olive crops.

Although AOI’s key investment is the Cootamundra Oilseeds crushing facility in southern New South Wales, the company also owns a sales and marketing arm, Good Earth Oils, which distributes and promotes cold-pressed canola oil produced at Cootamundra.

Under AOH, the company would push forward plans to construct a multi-oilseed crushing plant near Emerald at an estimated cost of A$25M (US$16.49M), the report said.

“The facility will produce edible oil feedstocks to meet the growing Asia-Pacific market and biodiesel feedstock to fuel the renewable energy revolution,” AOI said.

Construction was expected to be completed by March 2025, Grain Central wrote.

The facility would have a maximum total oilseed crushing capacity of 200 tonnes/day along with capabilities to bleach and deodorise 50 tonnes/day of oil, the report said.

Established by community-based growers, leaders and investors in 1991, Cootamundra Oilseeds commissioned its first oilseed processing plant the following year, crushing just over 2,000 tonnes/year.

Improvements since then have led to an increase in production to 36,000 tonnes/year.