By Ian Neubauer

Foster’s Group has denied reports it has ruled out a straight cash sale of its wine business prior to the February completion of its strategic review.

Foster’s corporate affairs spokesperson Troy Hey said today (November 12) reports that the board had decided to shelf the possible sale of its underperforming wine assets until the economy recovered were unsubstantiated.

Hey also shot down reports that Foster’s Australasian managing director, Jamie O’dell, left the company on less than amicable terms.

News Limited and Fairfax newspapers both hinted O’dell quit after being overlooked for the CEO posting because his expertise and experience lies in wine.

The development follows last week’s revelation that Canadian brewer Molson Coors secretly acquired just over 5 per cent of Foster’s shares through Deutsche Bank.

It also adds suspicion that Foster’s is leaning toward a partial or complete spin off its wine business to allow it to concentrate on beer.

Foster’s shares were trading at $5.80 at 4:00pm today compared to $5.85 this time last week.
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The Shout Team

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