Sharechat Logo

Hart takeover gets Goodman family blessing

By Nick Stride

Friday 1st August 2003

Text too small?
In a show of support of symbolic significance to entrepreneur Graeme Hart, the Goodman family has bought back into the company it founded in the 1980s.

Since Mr Hart's Burns Philp created Australasia's largest food group with the $2.7 billion Goodman Fielder takeover the family has built up a stake of about 1%, worth $16 million at the current share price.

While only a small part of the family's estimated $550 million fortune, Patrick Goodman, son of Goodman Fielder co-founder Sir Patrick, said the holding was a vote of confidence in the man he has met only briefly.

"We understand the industry and that's why we decided to buy a few shares," Mr Goodman told The National Business Review.

The Goodmans had no shareholding or board influence since Sir Patrick stepped down as a director in 1993. The family viewed the company's subsequent floundering with "disappointment," his son said.

"We would have done things differently."

Mr Goodman said how Mr Hart addressed Burns Philp's high gearing in the wake of the Goodman Fielder takeover was "the key to the whole thing," but pointed out Mr Hart would not have been able to secure that level of debt funding for the deal if he had not been able to show strong and stable cash flows.

The quality of Burns Philp's senior management also attracted the family. Mr Hart had moved decisively to cut middle-management and head office costs and to close down uneconomic bakeries ­ issues the previous board and management had failed to address.

That meant laying people off, Mr Goodman said, "something no one likes to do."

He met the extraordinarily busy Mr Hart for the first time last week at Burns Philp's shareholders' meeting but gleaned no details of Hart's longer-term intentions for the company. "I muscled in and managed to talk to him for a couple of minutes. But we have no knowledge of what he's up to."

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Government package for commercial leases too little, too late
Concerns over Government’s intervention in commercial leases
Development Commitment to Bowen Campus Stage Two
Vista Group International Limited - Update on the impacts of COVID-19
AFT secures Maxigesic IV® distribution in four Western European countries and reports Australasian market share gains in COVID-19 medicines
Investore Property Limited (Investore) today announced its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 March 2020 (FY20).
Rabobank GDT Analysis - Event 261
SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited - Update on COVID-19 Impacts and Recent Trading
ANZ announces sale of UDC Finance
Foley Wines Limited Announces Harvest Result, Earnings Outlook and Development in Martinborough

IRG See IRG research reports