The Takeovers Panel in Australia is expected to report this week on the response by Goodman Fielder, the country’s largest domestic food producer, to a bid by yeast group Burns Philp.
Goodman Fielder has rejected the A$1.85 (US$1.09) a share offer saying the bid is opportunistic, taking advantage of poor trading conditions caused by the drought in Australia.
Burns Philp is hoping for some good news from the Takeovers Panel as the bid has becoming increasingly messy.
Goodman Fielder, which is running adverts encouraging shareholders to reject the bid, is seeking other suitors and is offering to sell individual divisions like Uncle Tobys bread or Meadow Lea margarine. Analysts believe Goodman’s shareholders including Maple-Brown Abbott, which owns 12.8%, and Perpetual, which owns 10%, will not accept an offer below $2 a share.
Burns Philp is also in danger of falling foul of regulatory laws and has pushed back the date of acceptance for the deal from 4 to 18 February in order to assess these further.