Ridley managing director John Murray has ruled out splitting up his company's agrifeed products and salt businesses in the short term, despite a number of demerger plans by listed agri companies in the past month.
The Australian Financial Review reports that analysts argue that Ridley is an attractive break-up play for would-be takeover suitors.
Speculation is increasing that about corporate activity after Ron Brierley's Guinness Peat Group spent more than $18 million last week lifting its stake in Ridley from 13.9% to 19.9%.
GPG, which became a substantial shareholder in Ridley in August last year, is renowned as an activist shareholder, pushing for board positions to direct company decisions with the aim of lifting what have been typically underperforming share prices.
But analysts point to Ridley as a business performing well following the promotion of John Murray to managing director in 2008.
He has delivered increased earnings growth by cutting costs and diversifying its feed business so it is less reliant on the volatile beef sector.
Ridley is Australia's biggest supplier of animal feed products and its biggest producer of salt.
Source: The Land
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