Elders branches in the south-west are expected to remain open despite the company’s nationwide rationalisation.
Elders has said it intends to close 10 rural branches throughout Australia, eliminating about 150 jobs, as it comes to grips with the need to refinance the company.
Elders group general manager David Goodfellow said most of the jobs to go were senior and middle management positions and no branch closures in the south-west were planned.
Mr Goodfellow said the restructure of the company was part of an effort to “rebuild for a stronger future”. He said the restructure had been well received by Elders’ banks and shareholders.
“People generally need to know that Elders will be around for the long haul,” Mr Goodfellow said.
Elders chief executive officer Malcolm Jackman said earlier this week that a rejected takeover bid by Rural Co in June had meant the company needed to find cash from somewhere else.
That need has led to the move to cut costs through branch closures and job shedding. Mr Jackman said that as part of the company’s refinancing, it had looked at how to get the business to be “a sustainable going forward business and obviously focus purely around the agribusiness side”.
“So this is part of a longer-term strategy,” he said.
“We’ve looked very carefully at the business and we’ve started to reorganise the business around a ‘hub and spoke’ mentality for our branch network rather than the traditional pyramid structure,” Mr Jackman said.
He said that while a hostile or full takeover bid from another company was another possibility, he had seen so signs of one so far.