AUS: Heinz launches Golden Circle bid
HJ Heinz has announced plans to acquire Australian fruit juice and canned food maker Golden Circle in a deal worth around A$288m (US$214m).
Heinz's Australian unit will buy all of Golden Circle's shares for about A$1.65 each, representing a 313% premium of the group's share price on Friday (3 October), Golden Circle said in a statement.
"The board of Golden Circle believes that the Heinz proposal represents a compelling value proposition and is in the best interests of Golden Circle shareholders," Golden Circle chairman Phillip Cave said.
The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. Golden Circle shareholders will vote on the proposal in mid-December.
Anchorage, Golden Circle's largest shareholder with a 35% stake, has thrown its weight behind the proposal. "The Heinz proposal is very attractive and we intend to vote in favour of the Heinz proposal in the absence of a superior proposal," Anchorage said.
Heinz Australia said the deal was a "win-win" for both companies. "This proposed acquisition brings together two of the best known and most respected food brands in Australia," the company said.
"We believe that the Golden Circle brand will flourish under the guidance of Heinz Australia as we leverage Heinz's global marketing and innovation capabilities together with Golden Circle's brand strength, excellent health and wellness profile, and its capabilities in the growing ambient and chilled fruit juices market."
Golden Circle employs about 1,000 people and operates two facilities in Australia.
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