AUSTRALIA: Divestment strategy of Joe White Maltings Limited
Just one week after the company revealed H1 losses of A$10m after tax and exceptional charges, Joe White Maltings Limited has expressed its concern to become a single track operation, concentrating on its malt activities and divesting its struggling food business. The company did make A$355,000 in pre-tax net profits, but the managing director, Ian Fraser, explained that the earnings produced by the core malting business had been negatively offset by the troubled food division, which necessitated a A$9.04m write off. This meant that the food business would be split into three as the first step of a divestment plan.In a public statement, it was announced that the peanut operation at Kingarot, Joe White's most saleable business, is to be sold to the Peanut Company of Australia (PCA) pending approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Renshaw Foods, another part of Joe White Maltings Limited Food Product Division, has also been sold to Select Harvests Limited. A signed agreement stipulates that the business will go for a $1.17m in addition to inventory on hand at the settlement.In the meantime, the final dividend has been axed again, hopefully to resume at the end of the next calendar year.
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