Goodman Fielder acquires milling, baking business in Australia

by Teresa Acklin
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   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Australasia's largest food company, Goodman Fielder Ltd., has purchased the Australian milling and baking assets of Bunge International Ltd. for U.S.$265.4 million.

   David Hearn, chief executive of Goodman Fielder, said the acquisition would enable the company "to reduce costs and improve services to consumers without any adverse impact on competition."

   The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the transaction subject to the divestiture by Goodman Fielder of "a small number of assets" to ensure market competition, Goodman Fielder said.

   The Bunge assets were expected to boost Goodman Fielder's market share in the Australian bread business to about 48% from 33%. The other major flour miller and baker in Australia, George Weston Foods Ltd., holds a 30% market share.

   Bunge's Australian brands include Sunicrust, Country Bake, Helgas, Family Choice and Defiance. Goodman Fielder's brands include Buttercup, Wonder White, Quality Bakers, Uncle Toby's, Molenberg, Vogel's, Riga, Pampas and Allied.