RFG chairman says turnaround may lead to asset sale

Retail Food Group chairman Peter George acknowledged the enormous task of turning around the struggling franchisor and said it could inevitably lead to the sale of assets at the group’s AGM.

George told shareholders that the business is currently in a position where reducing bank borrowings and focusing on customer needs are top priorities.

“The board continues to look at a range of options, including potential asset sales but also the potential for alternative funding,” George said.

“Inevitably, part of repairing the company’s financial position will mean implementing major restructuring and cost reduction initiatives through the group, as an immediate priority.”

These statements come just a day after it was reported the business was looking at recapitalisation options, including asset sales of its Hudson Pacific bakery arm, as well as Pizza Capers and Crust Pizza businesses.

RFG chief communications officer Belinda Hamilton told IR that the board has been considering a range of options for some time, and has not yet reached a definitive position on the matter.

Richard Hinson, RFG chief executive, told shareholders that focusing on the turnaround strategy was of the utmost importance.

“FY18 was a tough year, however I believe it’s time to now start looking toward the future,” Hinson said.

“I can’t stand before you today and promise that in FY19 we will see an immediate and drastic improvement in our financial situation. But what I can promise you, is that as the group CEO, I will do everything in my power to bring out change for the better – as soon as we possibly can.”

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