Wilmar International tables $1.18-bn bid for Australian food firm Goodman Fielder

Australian food company, Goodman Fielder, today rejected an unsolicited A$1.27 billion ($1.18 billion) takeover bid from Singapore's agribusiness group Wilmar International Limited, saying that the offer undervalued the company.
Wilmar International tables $1.18-bn bid for Australian food firm Goodman Fielder
Wilmar, which already holds a 10.1-per cent stake in Goodman Fielder, has tabled the offer together with a Hong Kong investment management company First Pacific Company Ltd.

Wilmar has offered to pay A$0.65 per share, an 18-per cent premium to the Sydney-based company's last closing price of 55 cents on Thursday, valuing Goodman Fielder at $1.27 billion.

Goodman Fielder said in a statement, "The Board believes that the current proposal materially undervalues Goodman Fielder and is opportunistic," and added, "The board has advised Wilmar and First Pacific accordingly."

Founded in 1986 through the merger of Allied Mills Ltd and Goodman Group, Goodman Fielder is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of bread, small goods, dairy products, margarine, oil, dressings and several food ingredients.

Its brands include Meadow Lea, Praise, White Wings, Pampas, Mighty Soft, Helga's, Wonder White, Vogel's Meadow Fresh, and Irvines.

The company has recently announced a strategic turnaround plan after posting $65-million half year loss on revenues of $1.1 billion.

It has already closed its Hamilton factory with the loss of 125 jobs, and has a deal to sell its New Zealand meat business to Hellers.

Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Singapore, Wilmar is one of Asia's leading agribusiness group and ranked amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalisation on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Its business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, sugar milling and refining, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertilisers manufacturing and grains processing.

Wilmar, which acquired Australia's CSR sugar division in 2010 for $1.75 billion, has over 450 manufacturing plants and a distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries.