Mondelez loses appetite for SA based AVI, terminates take-over talks

SOUTH AFRICA – Deal talks between American multinational snacking giant, Mondelez international and South African food and beverage company AVI Limited have faltered barely a month after revelation of the engagements to the public.

The potential takeover deal was announced in November, which would have expanded the presence of the Cadbury maker in the South African market.

The Johannesburg-based AVI is a publicly-listed consumer goods group with interests also in personal care and fashion.

Its food brands are mainly centred around snacks with brands such as Provita crispbread, Flanagan’s crisps and Willards’ cheese curls. It also has a frozen convenience food offering under the I&J brand, alongside hot beverages.

These would have been added to Mondelez’s portfolio of brands that include Oreo cookies, Bournvita malt drink and Trident chewing gum, among others, if the deal would have fallen trough.

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Mondelez makes new appointments

Meanwhile, AVI has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Owen Cressey, who held the position since May 2006, has resigned with effect from December 31 to take the role of Business unit President, sub-Saharan Africa, at Mondelez International in January.

“The board thanks Owen for the important contribution he made to the company during his 15-year tenure, and wishes him well in his new role at Mondelez,” it said.

O’Meara is a Chartered Accountant. He completed his articles at KPMG in 2003, whereafter he was employed by KPMG as an audit manager and thereafter as a senior audit manager.

He joined AVI in 2009 as the National Brands Limited finance executive and was promoted to AVI group financial manager in 2010, the Snackworks financial director in 2015, and the National Brands financial director in 2017.

“Justin’s long tenure with the AVI Group, his senior role at AVI’s group office and his sound knowledge of the group’s business, operating model and financial reporting standards will provide for a seamless transition,” the board said.

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Mondelez has also announced the appointment of Ertharin Cousin, Founder, President and CEO of the Food Systems of the Future Institute, to its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2022.

Cousin possesses more than 30 years of experience in the worldwide food industry, working in the government, non-profit and corporate sectors.

Her experience includes serving as Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme; Ambassador and Permanent Representative to United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in the Obama Administration; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of America’s Second Harvest; and Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at Albertsons Companies Inc.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Bayer AG.

Cousin’s appointment expands the size of the Company’s Board of Directors to 13 members.

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