By Ian Neubauer
Foster’s is expected to start laying the groundwork for difficult decisions over its global wine business next week as top offshore executives converge in Melbourne to front newly appointed acting CEO, Ian Johnston.
It is thought to be the second such meeting held since Foster’s announced a major review of its underperforming wine business last month, The Australian Financial Review reported.
Analysts had originally anticipated a division of Foster’s wine and beer businesses or a fire sale of its wine assets.
However, a savage bear market and the fact that no potential suitors have emerged have buoyed the board’s preference to find ways to fix the wine business rather than dump it, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The earlier than expected departure of former CEO Trevor O’Hoy and Johnston’s subsequent appointment has added fuel to the theory, with analysts describing the move as a sensible short-term solution to kick off an aggressive review.
Foster’s shares were trading at $4.97 at 2:30pm today compared to $4.50 this time last week.