Goodman Fielder announced that it was looking to divest its fats and oils business in May, saying that the commercial industrial business did not fit comfortablywith its predominantly retail-focused portfolio. Goodman Fielder is the largest listed food company in Australasia, producing a swathe of well-known grocery brands from bread and cake mix, to dressings and frozen pastry.
The A$240m (US$220m) purchase includes a ten-year supply arrangement between the two companies, in which Cargill will supply refined fats and oils for Goodman Fielder’s brands.
President and regional director of Cargill Asia-Pacific Bram Klaeijsen said in a statement: "We are very pleased that Goodman Fielder has chosen Cargill as a long-term partner for this important supply agreement. We are confident that with our advanced fats and oils technologies and broad food ingredients portfolio we will provide value to this partnership and our customers in the region."
The acquisition agreement involves four fats and oils refining facilities – in West Footscray in Melbourne, Murarrie in Brisbane, Bunbury near Perth and East Tamaki in Auckland, New Zealand.
Both companies have said that the collaboration will be beneficial for workers at the four plants.
Cargill’s Klaeijsen said: “By combining their talents with those of our Cargill people, we will create a strong team that can successfully serve customers and drive profitable growth.
"Overall, Goodman Fielder's Commercial Edible Fats and Oils business is an excellent complementary fit with our existing operations, product portfolio and capabilities.”
Goodman Fielder has also released a statement in which the company’s managing director Peter Margin highlighted the benefits for employees.
He said: “I am pleased that Cargill will be taking ownership of the business as this will be an excellent outcome for the business, for Goodman Fielder and for our loyal and hardworking people who will find a much better fit for their skills in a more comparable business.”
The acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Cargill said.
No one from either company responded to requests for further comment prior to publication.