Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AB Foods Plans Aussie Sale Months after [Pounds Sterling]55m Mop-Up

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AB Foods Plans Aussie Sale Months after [Pounds Sterling]55m Mop-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: LACHLAN COLQUHOUN

SIX MONTHS after mopping up the minority stakes in its Australian operation in a bid that valued the company at A$823 million (pound sterling293 million), Associated British Foods is reportedly now selling the biscuits and cakes division for as little as A$20 million.

The British firm is believed to have instructed UBS Warburg to handle the sale of the division of Sydney-based George Weston Foods, Australia's second-largest bread and biscuit producer.

The parent company spent A$156 million (pound sterling55 million) last June buying out the remaining 19% of George Weston it did not own, but seems to have lost patience with Weston's declining market share and profitability. Local reports claim that Associated-British Foods would be prepared to accept between A$20 million and A$30 million for Weston.

It is also claimed that the company's main asset is its factory in the middle of Sydney, which would be more valuable if turned into flats. …

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