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Mariner flicks on GPG food asset for A$850k

Thursday 9th February 2012

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Mariner Corp, the ASX-listed investment company, has immediately on sold one of the Guinness Peat Group food assets it bought this month. Its shares jumped by a fifth on the ASX.

The Melbourne-based company settled the third of four acquisitions from GPG and immediately on-sold the 20 percent stake in Tasmanian Pure Foods to a third party for A$850,000. Last week, Mariner agreed to buy GPG’s stakes in Peanut Company of Australia, Farm Pride Foods, Tasmanian Pure Foods and Capilano Honey for A$3.16 million.

The purchase of the 13 percent stake in Capilano Honey is expected to be completed in the coming week.

GPG, which was formerly chaired by Ron Brierley, sold off six assets for some 34 million pounds through the latter part of last year, and more recently sold its stake in New Zealand fruit marketer Turners & Growers.

This week, Mariner chief executive Darren Olney-Fraser told the Sydney Morning Herald his company wants to be the next GPG and is happy to take over the company’s food strategy.

Mariner was established in 2003, but divested its assets and cut costs in response to the global financial crisis. In November 2010, Stanfield Funds Management acquired a strategic stake in the company, leading to the appointment of a completely new board and management.

Mariner’s shares jumped 20 percent, or 5 Australian cents, to 30 Australian cents on the ASX, while GPG stock rose 0.9 percent to 58 cents on the NZX.


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