Cross-Border M&A Transaction in the Sugar Industry

Strategic Communications

April 7, 2014

FTI Consulting provided strategic communications support to Queensland-based sugar producer MSF Sugar during its takeover by Thai company Mitr Phol.


  • Questions were raised about the Board's rationale for recommending an offer from Mitr Phol, already a 20 per cent shareholder, and there were suggestions that the Board had 'rolled over.'
  • Concerns were raised over the future of MSF Sugar and commitment to the local community.
  • Issues of food security and foreign ownership of agricultural land were present throughout the campaign.
  • Operational concerns were raised that the new owners would reduce the price paid for sugar cane, close sugar refineries and increase costs on producers.

FTI Consulting’s Role

  • Our team developed a grass roots campaign to strengthen grower support for the transaction, working closely with a local PR agency.
  • The campaign was built using targeted messaging for different stakeholders, including growers, customers, employees, national and rural media.
  • We assisted Mitr Phol to engage with local stakeholders, building trust and reassurance over operational concerns.
  • Throughout the campaign the rational for the transaction and the Board's position was clearly articulated and communicated.
  • Our work highlighted the Board's process and best practice approach to governance and shareholder interests.

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