13 Dec 21 AVI and Mondelez – no deal, talks off
US snacks powerhouse Mondelez, owner of the Cadbury, Oreo and Toblerone brands, is no longer in talks with food producer AVI on buying its snacks division, which includes the Bakers and Pro-Vita brands.
AVI owns many market-leading food brands including I&J, Five Roses and Freshpak teas and a range of upmarket clothing names including Spitz, Gant and Green Cross shoes. Its coffee business includes the Lavazza, House of Coffees, Ciro and Frisco brands.
Mondelez, which changed its name from Kraft Foods in 2012, had been in talks about buying the listed company’s snacks business that includes the popular Blue Label Marie biscuits, Romany Creams and Bakers Tennis biscuits.
The talks came as food makers enjoyed brisk demand for their products, as locked-down consumers indulged in snacks and stocked up on cooking essentials.
The company’s share price dropped 6.4% to R73.51 shortly after the news that the talks had been terminated. It closed 6% weaker at R73.85.
No reasons were given as to why the potential deal fell through.
AVI senior exec moves to Mondelez
However, hours before the cancellation was announced, AVI said its CFO Owen Cressey had resigned and would be working for Mondelez International from 2022. He is due to take the title of business unit president for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Cressey will be replaced as CFO by Justin O’Meara, who joined the AVI group in 2009, in January next year.
Other foreign companies have been showing an interest in SA’s beverage and food companies, attracted by depressed valuations and the opportunities to serve the wider African continent.
Global brewer Heineken has just bought SA’s largest alcohol producer Distell, subject to approval from the competition authorities, and US private equity fund Emerging Capital Partners recently finalised its purchase of the SA Burger King franchise.