Metcash has requested a trading halt to the ASX after confirming that it is in talks to acquire Quadrant’s Superior Food Group.
The company’s trading halt is pending an announcement related to the potential acquisition of Superior Food Group, Australia’s third-largest food services distribution business.
In a statement to the ASX, Metcash confirmed that it is in discussions with vendors concerning the potential acquisition of Superior Food Group, however, at this stage the discussions are incomplete and there is no certainty that they will lead to a transaction.
“The trading halt is requested pending an announcement relating to the potential acquisition and is required to ensure that Metcash securities are not trading on a misinformed basis,” according to the statement.
“Metcash is not aware of any reason why the trading halt should not be granted or any other information necessary to inform the market about this trading halt.”
Metcash’s announcement to the ASX comes following an article in the AFR’s Street Talk section that speculated on the potential acquisition.
Metcash is the parent company of supermarkets IGA and Foodlands, with over 1600 stores nationally. It is also the second-largest player in both the Australian liquor market and the Australian hardware market, with brands including IGA Liquor, Bottle-O, Cellarbrations, Porters Liquor, and in hardware, Mitre 10, Home Timber & Hardware, and Total Tools.
Superior Food Group, which supplies ingredients and packaging to restaurants and cafés, is owned by the private equity firm Quadrant. The AFR believes the company to be worth around $500 million and that it has been a long-standing target for Metcash.
Metcash’s trading was halted at Wednesday’s closing price of $3.64, following an increase of four per cent in January, and have asked for the halt to remain until 5 February or until an announcement is made.