Buy-out rumours are false says Goodman Fielder

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Wilmar International has not bid for our business, says Goodman Fielder
Wilmar International has not bid for our business, says Goodman Fielder

Related tags Goodman fielder Fat

Australian food firm Goodman Fielder has denied rumours that a full buy-out by Asian palm oil giant Wilmar International is on the cards as it records big losses in 2012

The Sydney headquartered company posted its full year 2012 results with a 20% fall in operating profit to A$233m, as it recorded an overall loss of A$147m earnings (FY12).

Media rumours circulated soon afterwards that Wilmar had put in a bid for a full acquisition.

However, Goodman Fielder has snubbed media speculation and confirmed in a statement that it has “not received a proposal from Wilmar or any third party regarding the ownership of the company”.

At the end of June this year, the firm commenced a costly overhaul of its bakery business ‘Project Renaissance’ that involved three bakery site closures and the consolidation of operations under one ‘manufacturing hub’. See HERE​.

Costs relating to this project and additional divestments of its oils and milling units will stack up to around A$275m in total, the firm said.

However, “Goodman Fielder remains committed to the execution of its strategic plan which the company believes has the capacity to create significant value for shareholders,”​ it said.

As per disclosure obligations, the market will be informed of any business changes and updates, it added.

Divesting and refocusing

Chris Delaney, CEO of Goodman Fielder said it is in talks with a number of interested parties for its NZ Milling business.  An exclusive offer for its Integro business (fats and oils) is also expected to be finalised at the end of the month.

Delaney issued a positive outlook for the year ahead despite continued competitive pressures amid a challenging environment.

“Our cost base has been realigned for market conditions and we now have a strengthened and engaged senior management team. Meanwhile, we now have a more focused portfolio and greater financial flexibility to concentrate our investment in our core brands through increased marketing and innovation spend,”​ he said.

The CEO also identified the Asia Pacific as a stronger business region that will fuel future earnings growth.

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