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BURNS PHILP OF AUSTRALIA, OWNER OF FLEISCHMANN'S YEAST, ACQUIRES YEAST BUSINESS IN SPAIN

       BURNS PHILP OF AUSTRALIA, OWNER OF FLEISCHMANN'S YEAST,
                  ACQUIRES YEAST BUSINESS IN SPAIN
    SYDNEY, Australia, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ --  Burns Philp and Company, Ltd., the Australian-based food and hardware group, whose U.S. operations include Spice Islands spices and Fleischmann's yeast, today announced the acquisition of EBRO Agricolas Compania de Alimentacion (EBRO) and Fermentos y Derivados (Fedesa), whose combined operations make them Spain's second largest yeast supplier.
    Burns Philp shares, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, are traded in the U.S. in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). The ADRs are quoted on the National Association of Securities Dealers' Electronic Bulletin Board (Symbol: 3BPHCY), and are traded in the pink sheets.  One ADR equals six Burns Philp shares.
    "The acquisition gives Burns Philp over one-third of the yeast market in Spain.  We are now well-placed in Europe as a major yeast producer, a position that will be further enhanced when a new plant under construction in Milan comes on stream," said Andrew Turnbull, chief executive and managing director.  "We have been supplying the Spanish market from our Portuguese factory over the past 12 months, so we are quite familiar with market conditions in Spain."
    Spain has a bakers yeast market of approximately 78,000 tons.  The combined operations of EBRO/Fedesa consist of three production facilities at Villarrubia (Cordoba); Viladecans (Barcelona) and Vinaroz (Castellon) with a total annual production capacity of approximately 30,000 tons.  EBRO is a 50 percent shareholder in Fedesa, and Burns Philp is buying 100 percent of the yeast-related assets of both companies.  The acquired business manufactures and sells compressed yeast throughout Spain and has had continuous relationships with more than 10,000 Spanish bakers for over 30 years.
    Since the acquisition of Mauri Brothers and Thomson Limited in 1982, Burns Philp has created an international yeast business.  At the time of acquisition, Mauri produced yeast in Australia, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Since that time the operation has expanded under the direction of Ian Clack, general manager of the Food & Fermentation division and now produces yeast at 22 facilities located in a total of 13 countries.
    In Europe, Burns Philp currently produces yeast in the United Kingdom (1981), Ireland (1985), Portugal (1986), Turkey (1989) and markets yeast in Eastern Europe (1991).  Burns Philp is also a major producer of yeast in the United States (1984), Canada (1986), China (1988) and Argentina (1990).
    Turnbull added, "The European yeast market represents a major opportunity for Burns Philp given the high per capita bread consumption. We are continuing to evaluate further opportunities in Eastern Europe and anticipate developments in this area over the next two to three years."
    For the year ended June 1991 Burns Philp reported a net profit after abnormal and extraordinary items of A$179 million on sales of A$2,265 million.  In Europe, Burns Philp's Food and Fermentation operations achieved sales of A$84 million on which a net profit after tax of A$10 million was earned.
    During the 1990/91 year, Burns Philp continued its program of focusing on core activities with the sale of its investment in QBE Insurance for A$317 million.  The sale enabled the company to reduce net debt to A$257 million on June 30, 1991 on shareholders' equity of A$1,106 million.  Burns Philp now has over 80 people of assets (excluding cash) invested in the core activities of Food and Fermentation manufacturing and Hardware retailing.
    -0-        1/16/92
    /CONTACT:  Janet Sparre, 212-697-5600, ext. 3364, or Paul Whitelaw, 212-697-5600, ext. 3356, both of Hill and Knowlton for Burns Philp and Company; or Andrew Turnbull, chief executive & managing director, 61-2-259-1111 (Sydney), Ian Clack, 415-296-5701, or John Cowling, 61-2-259-1265 (Sydney), all of Burns Philp and Company/ CO:  Burns Philp and Company, Ltd. ST: IN:  FOD SU:  TNM SM -- NY002 -- 0348 01/16/92 09:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 16, 1992
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