Close×

Freedom Foods Group has advised the ASX that its voluntary trading halt will remain in place until 30 October while it investigates it financial position. 

Chair Perry Gunner had advised of the original suspension following CEO Rory Macleod’s resignation on 29 June, following the shock resignation of CFO Campbell Nicholas and revelations company inventory write-downs were potentially in excess of $60 million.

In a statement to the ASX, acting CFO and Group GM Corporate Development Stephanie Graham said the board thought the almost three-month extension was warranted to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on the impact historical issues will have on the company’s financial position as well as its outlook. Share trading should also not recommence until more clarity can be provided, she said.

Graham said a number of interconnected activities need to be completed, with significant items including finding a new CEO and CFO.

Thorough investigation into the historical issues identified on 25 June, 29 May and 9 March need to be completed, as well as the annual accounts audit and whether there has been any impact on previous reporting periods.

A revised guidance for FY21 needs to be prepared, incorporating any ongoing impacts from COVID-19 and potential operational improvements, strategic and product initiatives.

Also, the completion of any necessary capital initiatives to ensure the company’s balance sheet strength and financial flexibility, which could include amending its syndicated and bilateral banking facilities.

Graham said significant resources and time would be required to reach a point where all of these factors have been addressed.

The company retains the confidence of its major shareholder, the Perich family, who hold 54 per cent of the business.

Packaging News

In its annual report on consumer trends Euromonitor International says sustainability, convenience and a new “phygital reality” are three developments that will influence business strategies.

The next interpack will take place from 4 to 10 May 2023, at the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Centre. It will be the first show since 2017, with last year’s expo first postponed, then cancelled, due to Covid.

Companies wanting to show their packaging and print wares to the world can now register for online event virtual.drupa, which is set to take place 20-23 April, in place of the now cancelled mega-show.