12 Apr 2010

A2 Corporation considers merger

12:44 pm on 12 April 2010

The stock exchange may lose another company, with specialty milk producer A2 Corporation saying it's in merger talks with an Australian firm.

The company, which is listed on the NZX alternative market, will consider a merger of equals with Australian listed firm Freedom Nutritional Products, which sells beverages, canned seafood, snack foods and cereals.

Freedom Nutritional Products is A2's joint venture partner in its profitable Australian arm.

A2 lost $717,000 in the six months to December.

In contrast, Freedom Nutritional Products doubled its half year profit, to $A1.8 million.

A2 Corporation chief executive, Scott Pannell says the proposal came from the Australian partner, and both sides will now take three weeks to work out whether a merger makes sense.

Mr Pannell says if a merger is agreed, A2 would be desisted in New Zealand, and the combined entity will remain listed on Australia's stock exchange.

Freedom Nutritional Products has also signed a deal with A2's largest shareholder, Mountain Road Investments, giving it first right of refusal if Mountain Road wants to sell its 15% stake.

A2's share price rose 0.1 cents to 8 cents on Monday morning.