Wilmar, First Pacific lower takeover offer

Wilmar, First Pacific lower takeover offer

Goodman Fielder's board has recommended shareholders accept a reduced takeover offer from Wilmar International and First Pacific.

Wilmar and First Pacific tabled a conditional bid of A$0.70 a share for the Australian food manufacturer in May after their first offer of $0.65 was rejected.

However, upon completion of due diligence, Wilmar and First Pacific again adjusted their offer price, lowering it to $0.675 a share and valuing the company at $1.32bn.

Goodman Fielder will also pay shareholders a final dividend of one cent a share, the company revealed.

"In reaching our conclusion to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, the board concluded that the proposal represented an attractive value outcome for shareholders," chairman Steve Gregg said.

In a regulatory filing, Wilmar noted it has received backing for the lower offer from Goodman Fielder in the absence of a superior offer. The Singapore-based food giant did not provide comment on why it has lowered its bid price.

Goodman Fielder has made a loss in two of its last three financial years. In April, the firm issued a profit warning for the 2014 financial year and today (2 July) the firm again warned that its results would be depressed in the fiscal.

Goodman Fielder said it now expects to record a non-cash impairment charge in the range of A$300-400m due to "challenging" conditions in its core bakery and grocery business. "The final impairment charge will be determined as financial statements for FY14 are completed," the company said.

Wilmar already holds a 10% stake in Goodman Fielder. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and the backing of at least 75% of shareholders.