Perpetual supports sale of Goodman’s NZ dairy unit

Goodman Fielder’s biggest shareholder says it supports any strategy that boosts the share price of the company, including the sale of a business or the company itself.

Goodman Fielder’s biggest shareholder, fund manager Perpetual, says its supports any strategy by the food company’s board of directors to boost its share price through the sale of a business or the sale of Goodman Fielder itself.

Goodman Fielder is asking for an investor to partner or a company to wholly acquire its New Zealand dairy business that analysts at CIMB value at as much as $654.5 million, or 11.9 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

“We’re supportive of the company unlocking shareholder value,” Paul Skamvougeras, a Perpetual portfolio manager, told Data Room in an interview. “That could be the sale of the dairy business or the sale of the company itself.”

At 2.23 pm Goodman Fielder’s shares were down 1 cent, or 1.5 per cent, to 66.5 cents. Perpetual has a 12.17 per cent stake in Goodman Fielder as of April 4, according to Bloomberg data.

Wilmar, Goodman Fielder’s third-biggest shareholder with a 10.1 per cent stake, has offered 65 cents a share for Sydney-based Goodman Fielder along with its takeover partner First Pacific.

“We have pitched our indicative proposal at 65 cents per share in cash which represents an enterprise value/EBITDA multiple of 8.2 times,” a spokesman for Wilmar and First Pacific said in an email to Data Room.

“It is a condition of our indicative proposal that Goodman Fielder does not make any material asset sales. Any potential sale of the New Zealand dairy business needs to be weighed against the risk it poses to the certainty of a full cash offer for the entire business. Goodman Fielder shareholders risk losing that offer and being left holding an investment in a diminished vehicle if any asset sales are conducted.”

Fund managers at Ellerston Capital, Goodman Fielder’s second-biggest shareholder with a 12.15 per cent stake, weren’t available for comment, Data Room was told.

(Reporting by brett.cole@businessspectator.com.au) 

(Editing by miranda.maxwell@businessspectator.com.au)