Freedom Foods extends trading halt

By Country News

Freedom Foods will not trade on the ASX until November 2 after the company extended its trading freeze.

The company's board said it believed investors required "comprehensive and up-to-date" information as to the impact of the historical issues, financial position and outlook of the company before trading could resume.

The trading halt comes off the back of the resignation of chief executive officer Rory Macleod on June 30, only days after the chief financial officer also left the company and board chairman Perry Gunner stepped up as executive chairman.

Shares in the food processor have been in a trading halt since June 25, when the company told the ASX there were some major announcements to be made.

The company has announced it has scrapped 60 positions across the business, involving 40 redundancies, and has had to write-down the value of stock by $60 million.

Freedom had told the market in May the figure was about $25 million.

In a statement the board said there were a number of activities that needed to be completed before trading resumed, including auditing of their June 30 annual financial accounts, receiving appropriate guidance about their 2021 outlook and securing a permanent chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

It has engaged independent consultants Ashurst and PwC to investigate the company's financial position.

Freedom Foods makes cereals, snack foods and drinks and in 2014 established a factory in Shepparton, which produces UHT milk for export.

It has factories in Ingleburn, Dandenong and Darlington Point.