Yowie jumps 39pc as finances improve – but Aurora isn’t going away
Food & Agriculture
Food & Agriculture
Link copied to
By the board’s own admission, much of the activity out of chocolatier Yowie (ASX:YOW) in recent months has been rejecting takeover offers.
Both bidders claimed they could do better running the company after years of losses.
But Yowie says things are turning around.
The company expects to be cash positive in the second half of the financial year, attributing it to increased distribution of new and existing products and reduced cash burn.
The stock jumped nearly 40 per cent on Friday.
Aurora managing director John Patton was reluctant to give too much away but told Stockhead the company intended to proceed with its bid.
Keybridge said Yowie’s accumulated losses since mid-2015 have hit $27m, and Aurora does not believe the current board can stem the tide of losses.
“For some time Aurora has held significant concerns regarding the financial performance, leadership and corporate governance of YOW,” Aurora said in its bidder’s statement.
“The directors of Aurora believe that decisive action is required to address the issues within the Yowie business.”
They are offering, as Keybridge did, 9c a share.
But with the share price at nearly 9c, the bid is now less compelling. Furthermore, shareholders would be paid in shares of Aurora’s Dividend Income Trust rather than in cash.
A spokesperson for Yowie was unable to state when the company would return to profitability, but asserted the company was “heading in the right direction”.
Chairman Louis Carroll told shareholders today “the Aurora offer places no value on the business and is less than the cash backing in the company”.
He also expressed concerns that Aurora “have no one available with any experience of fast-moving consumer goods or grocery marketing”.
“Since they and their associates became our largest shareholder, nearly 18 months ago, they have not made one constructive suggestion regarding the operation of the business,” he added.