SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Goodman Fielder shareholders on Feb. 26 voted in favor of the proposal from Wilmar International Limited and First Pacific Company Limited to acquire 100% of Goodman Fielder.
Goodman Fielder said 80.24% of Goodman Fielder shareholders present and voting (either in person or by proxy) were in favor of the resolution.
A hearing on the acquisition in the Federal Court of Australia was scheduled for March 2. If approved by the court, the acquisition will be officially implemented on March 17. The deal is valued at A$1.3 billion.
The potential takeover first emerged in April 2014, with Wilmar and First Pacific offering 65¢ a share. The offer briefly increased to 70¢ before being trimmed to the final agreed price of 67.5¢ cents per share.
Goodman Fielder Chairman Steve Gregg said the transaction was an attractive value outcome for Goodman Fielder shareholders and also represented a positive outcome for the company’s employees, customers, suppliers and consumers.
“Recommending shareholders vote in favor of the resolution was not a decision the board took lightly,” Gregg said. “We are very mindful of the iconic status of Goodman Fielder across Australia and New Zealand and the rich history it enjoys across this region. “While in one respect it will be sad to see the company change from public shareholding to private ownership, I also think it is important to recognize the significant opportunity that can come from this change.
“Wilmar’s scale and distribution networks, together with First Pacific’s experience and both parties’ financial resources, will provide meaningful scale to Goodman Fielder’s existing operations and allow the company to grow its presence further in the Asia Pacific region. “We’ve consulted widely with our people through this transaction process, and they are excited about the future prospects that this change of ownership can bring for Goodman Fielder.”