Finalised on February 29, the move means Wilmar is now the largest stakeholder of the Australian food company.
The 10.1% interest cost Wilmar approximately A$115m (US$124m) and will be funded internally, according to the trading statement.
The company added that it is“currently assessing whether to increase its shareholding in Goodman Fielder”further.
Strengthening a weak business?
Kuok Koon Hong, CEO and chairman of Wilmar International said:“We look forward to working with Goodman Fielder and its management team to improve business over time.”
Goodman Fielder reported on February 16 that company profits were down by 77% from the same time last year.
The food giant said an unfavourable trading environment characterized by low consumer confidence, heavy discounting, private label trends and natural disasters had hit business hard.
Chris Delaney, CEO of Goodman Fielder, described the results as“unacceptable”and added that the company is focused on working back to providing acceptable returns for its shareholders.
Goodman Fielder operates under five divisions – Fresh Baking, Fresh Dairy, Home ingredients, Integro Foods and Asia Pacific with business focuses spanning the food market.
Wilmar noted that Goodman’s reach across the consumer foods market in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific will be complementary to its consumer pack business that sells branded products to China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
It added that Goodman’s work in edible oils, through its Integro Foods division, will also be complementary to Wilmar’s oil business.
Eyes on Australasia
Wilmar International bought out Australian sugar mill, Sucrogen, for A$1.75bn in 2010 and this latest move to acquire a stake in Goodman will help strengthen this business too, the company said.