Burns Philp's long-running bid for Australia's largest food company could well be over as the board at Goodman Fielder yesterday, at last, backed the Burns revised takeover bid and moved over to allow a Burns Philp majority representation on the Goodman Fielder board next week.
Earlier this week, Australian ingredients company Burns Philp sweetened its takeover bid for Goodman Fielder by 2 cents a share. The increase means shareholders will receive A$1.635 for each Goodman share they hold, after adjustment for dividends that have already been declared.
Goodman Fielder's chairman, Dr Barton, said: "In an environment of declining investment markets and uncertain global political issues, the majority of our shareholders have opted to accept a cash bid. The board recognises this and has made its recommendation accordingly in the interest of shareholders.
"Since July 2001, when our Retail Branded Strategy was first implemented, to 12 December 2002, the day before the Burns Philp takeover bid was announced, Goodman Fielder has outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 Accumulation Index by 47 per cent," added Dr Barton.
Clearly good news for Graeme Hart, the wealthy New Zealand entrepreneur behind the ingredients company, one doubts whether many champagne corks will be popping at Goodman. A company that, for several weeks, has fought against the hostile bid from Burns Philp.