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Goodman Fielder Makes Offer For Earnest Adams

Goodman Fielder Makes Takeover Offer For Earnest Adams

Trans-Tasman food group, Goodman Fielder Limited, has announced its intention to make a takeover offer for all of the shares in Christchurch-based baking and frozen meal manufacturer, Ernest Adams, at $2.30 per share.

The major Ernest Adams shareholder, GDI, which holds approximately 47% of the company, intends to support the offer and has granted Goodman Fielder an option over 19.99% of Ernest Adams at $2.30 per share.

The General Manager of Goodman Fielder Milling and Baking in New Zealand, Mr Colin Wise, said the proposal was a compelling offer for Ernest Adams shareholders.

"This is a compelling offer that provides real benefits for shareholders and customers of Ernest Adams," Mr Wise said.

"A successful merger will strengthen both businesses in New Zealand and enable the combined business to perform strongly in an increasingly competitive international market."

Mr Wise said the two product portfolios are complementary and that if the acquisition proceeds, Goodman Fielder will use its proven resources to significantly strengthen the Ernest Adams brand in New Zealand and off-shore markets and take it positively forward into the next century.

"Customers will benefit from a more comprehensive and efficient service by Goodman Fielder and, over time, a revitalised category and brand," he said. "Consumers will still be able to enjoy their favourite Ernest Adams products and have a wider, more innovative range of foods to meet their needs."

Mr Wise said the proposed acquisition will only proceed if Goodman Fielder gains acceptance of at least 90% of shares outstanding.

"A formal offer will be sent to Ernest Adams shareholders after 15 working days required under a notice and pause filed today with the New Zealand Stock Exchange," he said.

"The formal offer will be open for four weeks after the notice and pause period which will give shareholders adequate time to consider its benefits."

Mr Wise said the acquisition is also subject to satisfactory due diligence and approval by the Overseas Investment Commission (OIC). "Goodman Fielder aims to progress the proposed acquisition as fast as possible to reduce uncertainty for shareholders, staff and customers," he said.

Goodman Fielder is being assisted by Deutsche Bank New Zealand.


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