Goodman Fielder CEO departs as sale to Asian giants settles

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th March 2015
Goodman Fielder CEO departs as sale to Asian giants settles
Goodman Fielder CEO departs as sale to Asian giants settles

It was announced today that Scott Weitemeyer will be appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Goodman Fielder, replacing Chris Delaney.

The announcement co-incided with the implementation today of the Scheme of Arrangement under which Asian agribusiness company Wilmar and Hong Kong-based investment management and holding company First Pacific have acquired 100 per cent ownership of Goodman Fielder.

Goodman Fielder is one of Australia’s biggest bread makers. The Company’s brands include Meadow Lea, Praise, White Wings, Pampas, Mighty Soft, Wonder White, Helga’s, Vogel’s (under license), Meadow Fresh and Irvines.

Wilmar and First Pacific, through 50:50 jointly owned entities, now hold all of the shares in Goodman Fielder. The resignation of current Goodman Fielder CEO Chris Delaney, as well as board members Steven Gregg, Ian Cornell, Jan Dawson, Chris Froggatt, Peter Hearl, Clive Hooke and Ian Johnston from the Board of Goodman Fielder took effect from implementation. Mr Robin Nicholson, Mr Kuok Khoon Hong, Mr Scott Weitemeyer, and Mr Graham Pickles have been appointed to the Board of Goodman Fielder with effect from implementation. Mr Nicholson has been appointed Chairman.

“We are delighted that the Scheme has now been implemented,” said Mr Nicholson. “This final step in the process completes First Pacific and Wilmar’s acquisition of Goodman Fielder and we look forward to working with the business to implement our transition plans and growth agenda,” he said.

Chris Delaney’s resignation

“We would like to thank Chris for his substantial contribution to Goodman Fielder and particularly for his leadership of the company during a period of significant transformation of the business, including the implementation of the Scheme,” Mr Nicholson said.

Chris Delaney has been the Managing Director and CEO of Goodman Fielder since July 2011. In a career spanning over 20 years, Mr Delaney has held a variety of senior management positions, including in the US with Proctor and Gamble and Campbell Soup Company.

Mr Delaney is also Deputy Chairman of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the peak industry association, representing the $110 billion Australian food, beverage and grocery manufacturing industry.

Goodman Fielder to build “leading AsiaPacific consumer foods business”

Mr Nicholson said Mr Weitemeyer would “work with the dedicated team at Goodman Fielder to begin building a leading AsiaPacific consumer foods business”.

Australian Food News reported in February 2015 that the acquisition had been approved by China, after receiving approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in November 2014.

Goodman Fielder said it expected to be delisted from the ASX and NZX on Thursday, 19 March 2015.

Eligible Goodman Fielder shareholders who held shares on the Scheme Record Date (10 March 2015) will be sent the Scheme Consideration of A$0.675 cash per share today (or as soon as practicable thereafter).