By Andrew Starke
The Foster’s Group has continued to play a straight bat to questions on plans to demerge its beer and wine business, telling shareholders that no final decision would be made until an internal analysis had been concluded.
Speaking at the company’s AGM yesterday (Oct 26), Foster’s chairman David Crawford said the board has made no final decision to recommend a demerger and ‘will not do so until the full analysis of all costs, benefits and other considerations are complete’.
The beer giant announced in May that it was considering demerging its beer and wine operations into separate entities.
A recommendation by the board to delist would trigger a shareholder vote on the proposal in March or April next year.
“The demerger scenario under consideration is one in which each Foster’s shareholder will automatically receive new shares in a separately listed wine business – while retaining their existing Foster’s Group Limited shares,” said Crawford.
“Thus, post the demerger, Foster’s Group Limited shareholders will, in effect, hold shares in two separately listed companies. Once approved, no payment or action is required from an existing shareholder.”
Foster’s CEO Ian Johnston expressed his confidence in the three new beer products that CUB will launch next week.
“Carlton Dry Fusion Black and Pure Blonde White build on already very successful brand franchises,” he said.
“The first entirely new brand in our portfolio for some time – the Great Northern Brewery – will give us new opportunities in the important Queensland and Northern Territory markets. These new products will help us to maintain our edge in innovation and, as I noted, re-balance our portfolio to growth categories.”
Click here for a full transcript of the two speeches.