UPDATE: AUS: Wilmar confirms higher bid for Goodman Fielder
Goodman Fielder is mulling revised Wilmar bid
Singapore agribusiness giant Wilmar International today (15 May) confirmed it and bid partner First Pacific, the Hong Kong investment fund, have lifted their bid for Australian food group Goodman Fielder.
In a statement issued just after 7pm Singapore time, Wilmar said the companies had tabled an offer worth A$0.70 a share for the Meadow Lea butter and Helga's bread owner. It values Goodman Fielder at A$1.37bn.
Last month, Goodman Fielder had rejected a bid worth A$0.65 a share, which had valued it at A$1.27bn, as "opportunistic".
Earlier today, Goodman Fielder had requested trading in its shares on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges be halted as it was mulling a fresh offer, although it did not disclose the source of the new bid.
Wilmar, which owns just over 10% of Goodman Fielder, said it and First Pacific would not raise their bid further.
The company set out a number of conditions they had placed on their new offer - including that Goodman Fielder's board must indicate it would support the new board by 20:00 Melbourne time tomorrow.
Goodman Fielder's board must announce their backing for the offer and agree to allow the bidders to conduct due diligence on the business, Wilmar said.
First Pacific has already struck deals to buy 4.8% of Goodman Fielder from the food manufacturer's two largest shareholders - Perpetual Investment Management and Ellerston Capital - should the board give their support. Those agreement also provide for First Pacific to buy a further 5% of Goodman Fielder, subject to the approval of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
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