By Boyd Champness

THE noose around Australian woolgrowers neck – the million-bale wool stockpile – could soon be a distant memory, with a company offering to buy the lot for A$560 million (225m).

The Australian Wool Group last week submitted its fourth offer to Woolstock Australia to buy the stockpile.

Three unsuccessful offers were made between 1997 and 1998.

AWG chairman Nick Greiner described the offer as “flexible and highly tax-effective amounting to A$1.10 per Woolstock entitlement”.

The offer is broken up into cash, five-year Merino Notes and AWG shares.

The AWG offer compares with Woolstocks July 1999 net asset value of A$420 million at A$1.20 per unit.

The existence of a wool stockpile has for a long time been blamed for contributing to low prices for Australian woolgrowers.

Woolstock shareholders will vote on the offer at a special general meeting yet to be announced.