It seems like just last week that we were reporting on the likely acquisition of AVI’s Snackworks division by Mondelez (It was. Ed), and goodness what a difference that week has made. Discussions between the two businesses have now been terminated, AVI has withdrawn its earlier cautionary statement, and the share price took a tumble to the tune of 6%. Adding insult to injury, shortly after the news of the collapsed deal broke, AVI let it be known that its CFO Owen Cressey, a stalwart of this business since 2006, would be leaving at the end of December, lured by the offer of the job of business unit president, sub-Saharan Africa, at (ahem) Mondelez International in January. He will be replaced by Justin O’Meara, latterly FD of the National Brands division. The one consolation is that such iconic brands as Bakers, Baumann’s, Pyotts and Provita will remain in South African hands, perhaps to be disposed of more profitably on another day.
Comment: Nevertheless, a blow – although AVI shareholders were entirely enamoured of the idea of the business without its mighty Snackworks portfolio.