Chinese food group makes play for CSR

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th January 2010

Chinese food processor Bright Food has approached Australia’s largest sugar firm regarding the possibility of a takeover.

Bright said in a statement today that they had approached the ASX-listed firm about the possibility of a deal for their sugar and renewable energy divisions – which are due to be combined into one company upon likely completion of a demerger in the next couple of months.


The proposal of an all-cash bid would value CSR Sugar at $1.5 billion.

Bright has written to the Chairman of CSR, arguing the case for the takeover to be a “more secure alternative” to the demerger plan.

CSR still committed to demerger

The Australian firm released a statement half-an-hour after trading began, stressing that the current offer was a tentative one and the demerger plans were still the main focus of the company.

“CSR notes that the Bright Food Group media statement is merely an expression of interest and does not make any proposal capable of acceptance by CSR and indicates a number of conditions and approvals that would be required of any transaction were any proposal to be made and accepted,” they said. “Bright Food Group had previously expressed to CSR an interest in the Sugar business, however its expression of interest similarly lacked certainty as to value, timing and likelihood of completion.

“As previously advised to the market, CSR continues to progress the proposed demerger of its Sugar and Renewable Energy business and will consider a range of options as part of this proposal.”

CSR shares, which have been on the rise this year thanks to an improving economy and record sugar prices, shot up over five per cent prior to the the company’s announcement.