Chris Jenkins News editor

Chris works from BRW's Sydney newsroom. He has previously written and edited in print and online for titles including The Australian Financial Review and The Australian.

View more articles from Chris Jenkins

Bob Ingham sells to TPG for $880m

Published 11 March 2013 07:45, Updated 12 March 2013 07:32

+font -font print
Bob Ingham sells to TPG for $880m

Chicken billionaire Bob Ingham is walking away from the business that bears his name with a $1 billion sale that will see private equity group TPG Capital pay $880 million in cash and the Ingham family retain property assets and the racing business.

Australia’s largest poultry producer Inghams had been on the block since July. Ingham sells one in three chickens sold in Australia and turned over $2.2 billion in 2012.

A young Bob Ingham on the Casula poultry farm that he and brother Jack built into a billion-dollar operation. Photo: Fairfax Media

TPG finalised the deal with Inghams on Saturday morning, The Australian Financial Review reported.

“An important part of the decision for me was finding a buyer who would ensure that our customers will continue to receive the highest level of service and our employees would be well looked after,” Ingham said.

“I believe I have found that in TPG.”

Ingham’s personal fortune of $1.15 billion ranked him at 25 on the 2012 BRW Rich 200 list.

TPG saw off rivals including fellow Blackstone group, Hong Kong’s Affinity Equity Partners, Archer Capital and the huge Chinese agribusiness group New Hope, the AFR reported.

Ingham had also been examining a public float of the business. It’s believed that the investigations for a possible IPO were run in parallel with the sale process in order to ensure that the right price was struck for the business.

Inghams Group turnover 2003-2012Source: Inghams

Ingham and his late brother Jack built up the backyard poultry business started by their father, taking over running the operation in 1953. Bob Ingham became the sole shareholder after Jack died in 2003.

He had reportedly decided to sell his business as none of his four children, and no close family members, were involved in running it.

Bob Ingham (left) and Jack Ingham in an undated photo.Photo: Fairfax Media

With a western Sydney business base and a large fortune to play with, Ingham has also been tipped as a potential buyer of the Western Sydney Wanderers A-League football club.

The Football Federation of Australia plans to sell the club – which is in its first season and currently leads the league – within the next few years. Some estimates put the price at around $20 million.

Ingham also has successful racing interests and sold his Woodland Stud operation to Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum for $500 million in 2008.