12 May 2014

Parmalat eyes Goodman Fielder

12:37 pm on 12 May 2014

Parmalat has emerged as a potential interloper in Wilmar International and First Pacific's $A1.27 billion takeover bid for Goodman Fielder.

Parmalat products at a supermarket in Rome.

Parmalat products at a supermarket in Rome. Photo: AFP (file)

The French dairy group has reportedly said Goodman's New Zealand dairy assets are of "strategic interest."

Goodman Fielder, whose brands include Meadowlea, Praise, Vogels and Edmonds, has dismissed the offer from Wilmar, which is based in Singapore, as opportunistic.

The trans-Tasman food group has already begun a process to either form a joint venture with a suitable partner who can aid dairy sales to Asia and might even sell the New Zealand dairy business outright.

However, Wilmar is threatening to walk away if Goodman sells any material assets.

The Australian Financial Review said Parmalat chief executive Craig Garvin declined to say whether he is considering making an offer, though he's watching the process.

Parmalat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lactalis of France.

Last month, it bought Western Australia's biggest dairy exporter, Harvey Fresh, for $A120 million and Mr Garvin has said he's looking for other acquisitions.

Goodman's dairy business is estimated to be worth between $A460 - $A590 million.