Freedom Foods and Dean Foods have stopped "detailed discussions" over A2 Milk

Freedom Foods and Dean Foods have stopped "detailed discussions" over A2 Milk

Freedom Foods Group has confirmed the interest it and Dean Foods jointly had in A2 Milk Co. has cooled.

The Australian company said yesterday (31 August) the potential partners had "ceased detailed discussions" over the New Zealand-based firm in which they had expressed interest in June.

In July, A2 Milk said its board had judged "the proposal in the expression of interest" as not "compelling" and would not recommend it to shareholders.

Two weeks ago, announcing its annual results, A2 Milk said Freedom Foods and Dean Foods had not contacted the company since it had rebuffed that interest.

Yesterday, Freedom Foods, alongside the publication of its full-year numbers, said it was "disappointed" A2 Milk's board "did not engage" with it and Dean Foods. It added: "The company has had no communication with A2MC since then and the company and Dean Foods have ceased detailed discussions in relation to A2MC."

Freedom Foods, which owns a 17% stake in A2 Milk, said it "continues to review all its options with regard to its A2MC investment including evaluating the benefits of maintaining a strategic stake in A2MC".

A2 Milk responded in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange today. "Although there has been no formal withdrawal of the expression of interest, the board continues to consider that no takeover offer is imminent."

When A2 Milk announced its board had poured cold water on proposal from Freedom Foods and Dean Foods, the company said it had received "other confidential enquiries indicating potential interest in the company" and was evaluating the interest.

A2 Milk has yet to comment again on the status of the other enquiries in the business.