AVI, the South African food producer and fashion retailer, took a beating on the JSE on Friday, which saw its shares tumble nearly 6 percent to R73.85 as the market booed the announcement that discussions with US snacks and confectionery giant Mondelez International had been terminated and it had withdrawn its trading cautionary.
Last month AVI said discussions with US snacks and confectionery giant Mondelez International had progressed regarding the potential acquisition of its Snackworks division.
AVI’s Snackworks division consists of popular brands such as Bakers, Baumann’s, Pyotts and Provita, which are an iconic part of South Africa’s biscuit history.
The Mondelez portfolio of brands includes Cadbury Dairy Milk and Oreo cookies, among others.
However, to add to the injury earlier in the day, AVI announced that its chief financial officer, Owen Cressey, who held the position since May 2006, had quit with effect from December 31 to take the role of business unit president, sub-Saharan Africa, at Mondelez International in January.
“The board thanks Owen for the important contribution he made to the company during his 15-year tenure, and wishes him well in his new role at Mondelez,” it said.
Gavin Tipper, the chairperson of AVI’s board, said Justin O’Meara had been appointed as chief financial officer from January 1.
O’Meara is a Chartered Accountant. He completed his articles at KPMG in 2003, whereafter he was employed by KPMG as an audit manager and thereafter as a senior audit manager.
He joined AVI in 2009 as the National Brands Limited finance executive and was promoted to AVI group financial manager in 2010, the Snackworks financial director in 2015, and the National Brands financial director in 2017.
“Justin’s long tenure with the AVI Group, his senior role at AVI’s group office and his sound knowledge of the group’s business, operating model and financial reporting standards will provide for a seamless transition,” the board said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE