Goodman Fielder rejects takeover bid

Food manufacturer spurns offer from shareholder Wilmar International and HK-listed First Pacific.

Australia's largest listed food manufacturer Goodman Fielder (GFF) has rejected a takeover offer from shareholder Wilmar International, jointly with Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Company, saying the 65c per share bid materially undervalues the target.

Goodman Fielder said its board believes the proposal is opportunistic and will continue to assess other opportunities to boost shareholder value.

Wilmar International has a 10.1% holding in Goodman Fielder and the proposal is conditional on due diligence and unanimous recommendation by the target's board.

The target has appointed Credit Suisse as financial adviser and Herbert Smith Freehills as legal adviser.

Goodman Fielder shares last closed at 55c.

The target said it has accelerated plans for an extra $25 million in cost savings, primarily through headcount reduction in the fourth quarter of full-year 2014.

Goodman Fielder has also progressed a review of options for its New Zealand dairy business and commenced a review into cost efficiencies in the daily fresh delivery model in its baking business.