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Nestle to buy Uncle Tobys

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http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/nestle-to-buy-uncle-tobys/2006/05/23/1148150241513.html

Nestle to buy Uncle Tobys
Email Print Normal font Large font May 23, 2006

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AdvertisementFood group Burns Philp and Company is set to sell snack food business Uncle Tobys to Nestle Australia Ltd for $890 million.

"Burns Philp has today entered into an agreement with Nestle Australia Ltd to sell its Australian Uncle Tobys nutritious snacks, breakfast cereals and soups business for a total price of $890 million," the company said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The company said the sale excluded the Bluebird Foods salty and wrapped snacks business in New Zealand, for which it continued to assess its strategic options.

Burns Philp said the sale of Uncle Tobys was subject to the approval of regulators and shareholders.

''The sale to Nestle is expected to be completed shortly after the satisfaction of these conditions,'' the company said.

Burns Philp appointed Deutsche Bank to advise on the sale of Uncle Tobys and Bluebird brands in January, a month after the successful $2.1 billion float of its bakery and spreads division, Goodman Fielder.

At the time, analysts speculated that the sale of both brands could fetch between $975 million and $1.2 billion.

Rival food companies such as Arnott's, Unilever, Cadbury Schweppes and Pepsi had been mentioned as possible contenders for the business, along with private equity players flush with cash.

In February, Burns Philp reported a first half profit of $581.1 million, which was down 37 per cent on the previous corresponding half, under new accounting standards.

Its snack foods division posted $199.4 million in revenue during the six-month period amid heightened competition, down from $208.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

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Another big one getting snapped up!

btw is Uncle Toby's an all Australian company? Or foreign owned? Can't remember.
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Another sad day for the Australian food industry.
I think the local food industry is already 97% overseas owned but its still terrible to see another icon Aussie brand go to the multi nationals.
It wont be long before we own nothing!
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