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Elders Limited logo
|Traded as||ASX: ELD,ASX: ELDPA|
|Founded||1839 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia|
|Founder||Alexander Lang Elder|
|Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China|
|Non-Executive Director (Since April 2014)|
|Products||Livestock, Farm Supplies, Wool, Grain,|
|Services||Real Estate, home loans, Agronomists, Production Advice, Financial planning, Insurance, International Trading.|
Number of employees
Elders Limited is an Australian-based agribusiness company that provides products such as livestock, farm supplies and grain as well as financial services to the farming community in Australia and New Zealand.
With the fledgling colony of South Australia only three years old, Alexander Lang Elder arrived in Port Misery (now Port Adelaide) in 1839 aboard the family-owned Minerva to set up business and explore opportunities for his family's Scottish-based merchant and shipping business. Alexander’s brothers, William, George, and Thomas joined Alexander, however out of the four only Thomas stayed in Australia and became an Australian citizen. Thomas moved to Adelaide in 1854 and worked with George for a year. After George left, Thomas formed Elder, Stirling & Co with Edward Stirling, Robert Barr Smith, and John Taylor. On Stirling and Taylor's retirement in 1863, Barr Smith and Thomas Elder formed Elder Smith and Co.
In 1888 Elder Smith and Co. was amalgamated with its subsidiary Elder's Wool & Produce Co. Ltd, and Peter Waite became the chairman of directors of the new company, which was called Elder Smith & Co. Ltd. Now in his eighties, Barr Smith launched Elders Trustee and Executor Limited and formed Elders Metal and Mercantile in Melbourne. Elders profits more than doubled from 1918 to 1928, with Peter Waite as chairman until his death in 1922, followed by Tom Elder Barr Smith, son of Robert.
The Elders centenary in 1939 coincided with the start of World War II when the highly competitive wool-selling business was put into government control. As the war continued, the wool auction system remained closed and the British government acquired the total Australian wool clip. In 1941, the British government paid Elders today’s equivalent of more than $3 billion, and nearly $4 billion the following year. The return to the open auction system in 1946 saw the start of a dramatic five-year run for wool. National wool revenues increased 29% and 64% respectively in the first two full years of peace.
In the early 1950s, Norman Giles moved from the Elders WA branch of the company to the Adelaide branch of it, and two years later became the managing director of Elders. In 1962 Giles announced the merger of Elder Smith and Goldsbrough Mort with its new corporate headquarters located in Adelaide. In 1970, Giles expanded Elders into Gove Alumina and Robe River mining ventures and launched Elders Finance and Investment Co. Sir Norman Giles retired in 1975 after 54 years with Elders.
In 1982 Elders merged with jam maker Henry Jones IXL to become Elders IXL. The following year, Elders launched a successful takeover bid for Carlton and United Breweries, which it renamed to Elders Brewing Group. In 1989, due to an economic downturn, Elders sold Henry Jones IXL to The J.M. Smucker Co., was renamed to Elders Pastoral, and became a division of its subsidiary Foster's. In 1993, after being renamed to Elders Limited, Elders was floated from Foster's, after which it acquired the Australian Agricultural Company. Two years later, Futuris Corporation, a major shareholder in Elders, became the new owner of Elders Limited.
In 1997, Elders launched Australian Wool Handlers as a joint venture, a wool handling and dumping company that quickly became responsible for more than 60% of the national clip. In 1999 Elders Finance was sold to New Zealand-based company Hanover Finance after Elders had sold this business to NZ based investors who took on $20 million of liabilities. In 2009, Futuris Corporation changed its name to Elders Limited, and changed from its conglomerate holding company structure to a single integrated company with an owner-operated focus around its principal business Elders.
In 2013 Elders returned to a pure play agribusiness by selling and divesting the last portions of its Forestry and Automotive divisions.
- Fayette Gosse, 'Elder, Alexander Lang (1815–1885)' Archived 21 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 133-134. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
- Fayette Gosse, 'Elder, William (1813–1882)' Archived 31 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 133-134. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
- Fayette Gosse, 'Elder, George (1816–1897)' Archived 31 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 133-134. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
- Fayette Gosse, 'Elder, Sir Thomas (1818–1897)' Archived 19 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 133-134. Retrieved on 11 July 2009.
- Hans Mincham, 'Stirling, Edward (1804–1873)' Archived 19 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, Melbourne University Press, 1976, pp 200-201.
- Dirk van Dissel, 'Smith, Robert Barr (1824–1915)' Archived 19 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, Melbourne University Press, 1976, pp 153-154.
- "THE LATE MR. JOHN TAYLOR". South Australian Register. XXIX, (5793). South Australia. 26 May 1865. p. 4. Retrieved 9 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Findlay, Marjorie (1976). "Waite, Peter (1834–1922)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 6. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Bitter feud precedes Elders settlement". sharechat.co.nz. 16 July 2004. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016.