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Oneida to Sell its Australian Business (posted 3/5/08)

March 5, 2008
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Oneida Ltd. has reached an agreement to sell its business in Australia to McPherson’s Limited, a leading consumer products company based in Sydney. As part of the sale, Oneida has also agreed to license certain trademarks to McPherson’s for its exclusive use in Australia and New Zealand. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

James E. Joseph, president and chief executive officer of Oneida, said, “Our business in Australia has been very successful and our brands are well known. However, after a thorough analysis we determined that the best path for continued growth for the business would be to align it with a well-established, diversified distributor of consumer products in the country. McPherson’s is an outstanding company, and it will be an excellent platform for our brands.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Oneida will also license its Oneida, Sant’Andrea and Viners trademarks to McPherson’s. “We see excellent potential to license our brands to well-established regional companies in order to expand our geographic footprint and exploit new markets, and we expect licensing to be an important source of growth for Oneida in the future,” said Joseph.

The transaction was expected to close near the end of February 2008. Upon completion, Gregory L. Woodhall, managing director of Oneida Australia, will be appointed to a new position as head of Oneida’s international foodservice division. He will be based in Oneida’s Hong Kong office and will focus on Asia and the Middle East, the world’s fastest-growing foodservice markets.

“Greg is a highly capable individual, and we are very pleased that he will be leading our international foodservice business, which holds tremendous opportunities for growth and is a major strategic focus for the company,” said Joseph.

For more information, visit www.oneida.com. McPherson’s website is located at www.mcphersons.com.au.

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