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Goodman Fielder accepts $1.3b takeover offer

One of Australasia’s largest listed food companies, Goodman Fielder has accepted a $1.34 billion takeover bid which will see the business fall into foreign hands.

First Pacific, a Hong Kong-based investment firm together with Singapore-based Wilmar International will pay 67.5c per Goodman Fielder share under the agreed Scheme Implementation Deed. Current shareholders will also receive a one cent dividend as part of the agreement.

Business Spectator reports that the agreed bid has fallen short of the company’s most recent offer by 2.5c per share, representing a 3.6 percent discount on the previous offer of 70c.

The board of Goodman Fielder has unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, and will appoint an independent expert to determine whether the Scheme is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of Goodman Fielder shareholders.

“In reaching our conclusion to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme, the Board concluded that the proposal represented an attractive value outcome for shareholders,” Chairman of Goodman Fielder, Steve Gregg said.

Gregg said that the move represents a positive outcome for the company’s employees, customer and consumers, and additionally provides an opportunity for the business to further leverage its brands across Australia, New Zealand and grow facilitate growth across the Asian region.

“In the absence of a superior proposal and subject to the independent expert concluding that the Scheme is fair and reasonable and accordingly in the best interests of Goodman Fielder shareholders, the Board will unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme,” said Gregg.

Subject to the conditions of the scheme being satisfied, the Scheme is expected to be implemented by the end of the year.

In additional to the Scheme, Goodman Fielder also announced that it expects to record a non-cash impairment charge in the range of A$300-400 million in its groups accounts for the year ended 30 June 2014.

The business expects the charge to be predominantly against the Australian/New Zealand Baking business and the final impairment charge will be determined once the financial statements for FY14 are completed.

 

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