By Andrew Starke
The separation of Foster’s beer and wine businesses may be a reality as soon as May this year as the company today (Feb 15) released details of the long-anticipated demerger.
Foster’s will proceed with the structural separation by creating independent ASX listings for its wine business and its beer, cider and spirits business.
Following the demerger, Foster’s is expected to remain in the S&P/ASX50.
It is anticipated that Treasury Wine Estates will qualify for inclusion in the S&P/ASX100 following its listing on ASX.
Foster’s management expects the demerger to be completed in May, subject to shareholder and court approvals.
“Foster’s has completed a detailed evaluation of the issues, costs and benefits of the demerger and the board unanimously considers that the demerger represents the best path forward and is in the best interests of Foster’s shareholders,” said Foster’s chairman David Crawford.
“The performance improvement program implemented following completion of the Wine Strategic Review in February 2009, including revitalisation of the management team, has produced encouraging results.”
The demerger requires approval from Foster’s shareholders and the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Subject to initial court approval, a scheme booklet which will contain further information about the Demerger is expected to be sent to shareholders in late March 2011, with a shareholder meeting to consider the Demerger to be scheduled for late April 2011.
Final court approval will be sought following the shareholder meeting.