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Why the Ridley share price is on the move today

The Ridley Corporation Ltd (ASX: RIC) share price has fallen by 1% so far this morning following two announcements to the market: an acquisition of land in Thailand and the appointment of a new executive.

Ridley is an Australian company involved in the production of high-performance animal nutrition solutions.

Ridley currently has a market capitalisation of $311 million, and its share price has declined by 29% over the past 12 months. Shares currently trade with a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) ratio of 13.03 and offer a fully franked trailing dividend yield of 4.3%.

Acquisition of land in Thailand

This morning, Ridley announced the successful completion of the acquisition of approximately 50 hectares of land encompassing the existing Thailand Novacq production ponds and the remaining 51% shareholding in the Pen Ngern feedmill. The acquisition is for an outlay of $171.2 million Thai Baht (approximately AUD$8.2 million).

In June 2017, Ridley secured the lease of the land in Chanthaburi, Thailand, less than one kilometre from the Pen Ngern feedmill in which it had previously acquired a 49% interest. The land was subsequently converted to 14 Novacq production ponds with the necessary infrastructure to support the operation.

Ridley had moved to acquire full control of the assets following the recent development approval to house the Novacq dewatering and drying operation within the Pen Ngern feedmill precinct, as well as the Thailand Board of Investment (BoI) approval required for foreign land ownership.

The company believes that securing these production facilities provides the ideal footprint for the long-term expansion of the Novacq operations in Thailand and the foundation to supply Novacq to prawn producers in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.

In respect of the acquisition of the assets in Thailand, Ridley CEO Quinton Hildebrand commented, “This transaction has been a long time in the making and we are delighted that the BoI has recognised the importance of this project to both the local economy and Thailand’s prawn farming industry.”

Appointment of new Chief Executive Officer – Novacq

The Thailand acquisition coincides with the announcement to appoint Siddharth (Sid) Jain to a newly created role of Chief Executive Officer – Novacq. Sid joins Ridley from Archer Daniels Midland where he has held the role of Director, Business Development & Strategy, Asia Pacific, for the past four years.

According to the announcement, Sid will be based in Singapore with responsibility for the Yamba, New South Wales and Chanthaburi, Thailand Novacq operations, and will commence in the role on 1 April 2020.

Ridley CEO Quinton Hildebrand commented, “We are delighted to appoint Sid to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer NovacqTM and Group Business Development Executive with a focus on accelerating the commercialisation of the NovacqTM franchise internationally.”

“Sid is a highly commercial business leader with extensive experience in delivering organic growth and acquisitions in the Asia Pacific region,” he added.

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Motley Fool contributor Phil Harpur has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.