Fosters Group to hold demerger vote

Foster's Group to hold demerger vote

Foster's Group has set a date for shareholders to vote on its plan to demerge its wine and beer businesses.

Foster's shareholders will be asked to endorse the plan to split Treasury Wine Estates from Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) on 29 April, Foster's said today (17 March). If approved, a demerger could be complete within a month of the vote.

The Australian drinks group has proposed to offer current shareholders stakes in both demerged companies, on the basis of one Treasury Wine Estates share for every three Foster's shares held. Shareholders will retain their existing stake in Foster's.

Speculation on a potential buyout of one or both businesses is likely to intensify as the demerger date draws near. Last year, Foster's rejected a US$2.5bn bid for Treasury Wine Estates from an unnamed private equity group, thought to have been Cerberus Capital. SABMiller, meanwhile, has been linked with a bid for CUB.

Earlier this week, Foster's announced that it has appointed a CFO for Treasury Wine Estates.