9 Nov 2011

Cerebos details plans for proposed Comvita takeover

7:58 am on 9 November 2011

Cerebos says it plans to operate Comvita as a stand-alone business if its takeover offer succeeds.

The coffee and food giant is offering $2.50 per share for the listed medical honey provider, a bid that Comvita has rejected outright, urging shareholders not to sell.

Cerebos has mailed its offer documents to all shareholders and the offer will be open for 45 days.

Cerebos Gregg's food and coffee division chief executive George Crocker says the company doesn't intend to make big changes if the takeover proceeds.

"Our intention is to run Comvita as a stand-alone business. It'll remain based in the Bay of Plenty."

He says Cerebos has experience in running businesses successfully in New Zealand on a stand-alone basis, including Cafe L'Affare and Atomic Coffee Roasters.

He says Cerebos is planning to throw its resources and expertise behind the company so it can develop Comvita's complex products for Asian markets, and invest in research to better understand how the products can help consumers.

"Over time we think that will help develop the market and that will be positive for the honey industry, for beekeepers, landowners and positive for New Zealand overall."

Mr Crocker says the Cerebos offer is the only one available to Comvita shareholders and, if it does not succeed, there's every likelihood the price of Comvita's shares would retreat again.

Comvita has reiterated its advice that shareholders not sell before seeing the independent report, saying the business is now in a position to reap the rewards due to loyal shareholders.