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A2 Corp. in talks for 'merger of equals' with Australia's Freedom Nutritional

Monday 12th April 2010

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A2 Corp., which licenses techniques to identify milk with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, is in talks for a “merger of equals” with ASX-listed Freedom Nutritional Products that would create a $62 million company.

The two businesses on Friday signed a three-week ‘exclusivity deed’ during which they will undertake due diligence and attempt to agree terms for a merger. The enlarged company would trade on the ASX, they said in a statement.

The unprofitable A2, which has seen its shares sink 70% over the past five years, has struggled to gain traction in the South Korean market, where its former partner withdrew the products and a rival firm began marketing an A2 infant formula.

It is reviewing its strategy for North America, a region the company describes as “a major challenge.” Its Australian joint venture is growing in line with expectations, according to the company’s interim report.

Shares of A2 Corp. fell to 7.9 cents on Friday, valuing the company at $30.1 million, from 8.5 cents the previous day. Freedom Nutritional was last at 32 Australian cents on the ASX, giving it a market value of A$24.8 million. 

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