Australia's biggest food manufacturer, Goodman Fielder, is considering three bids for its flour-milling production assets.
A recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald states that the shortlisted bidders are grain traders AWB and Ausbulk, and a joint venture between Graincorp and Cargill of the US. The assets are valued at between A$150 million and A$200 million (€90m and €130m).
The bidding process is expected to be a drawn out affair as none of the bidding parties is currently directly involved in the flour milling business. However, this means that the local competition authorities are expected to look favourably on whichever bid Goodman Fielder prefers.
The Company's ten mills, situated throughout Australia, were put on the market early this year. The outcome of the sale will not be known until September. News of the proposed sale, which has been a public affair since early January, prompted a 20 per cent jump in Goodman Fielder's share price in the first half of 2002.