A2 Milk rejected interest from Freedom Foods and Dean Foods in July

A2 Milk rejected interest from Freedom Foods and Dean Foods in July

Dean Foods, the US dairy giant, and Australia's Freedom Foods Group have yet to contact A2 Milk Co. again after the New Zealand-based company turned down their takeover interest.

A2 Milk said yesterday (20 August) there had been "no further communication" from the companies since it had judged their proposal was not compelling but said it was open to further talks last month.

Alongside its rejection of the interest from Freedom Foods and Dean Foods, A2 Milk added it had received "other confidential enquiries indicating potential interest in the company" and was evaluating the interest.

Speaking to just-food two days after A2 Milk rebuffed their initial interest, Freedom Foods MD Rory Macleod refused to be drawn on whether it and Dean Foods would table a new expression of interest in the business.

Freedom Foods, a shareholder in A2 Milk, announced in June it had teamed up with an "unnamed leading international liquid dairy milk company" to put forward "an indicative, non-binding and conditional expression of interest" in the business. Forty-eight hours later, A2 Milk named Dean Foods as the company teaming up with Freedom Foods.

A2 Milk did not comment yesterday on the status of the other enquiries in the business.

A2 Milk's latest comments on Freedom Foods and Dean Foods came alongside the publication of its annual results. The company saw revenue jump 40% to NZ$155.1m (US$103.9m) for the year to the end of June.

It made a net loss of NZ$2.1m after accounting for costs linked to its stock market listing in Australia and to an employee share scheme.

A2 Milk reported operating EBITDA of NZ$$4.8m before non-recurring costs, representing a 35% increase on the year.