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Foster's writes down wine assets

Foster's Group Ltd. said Tuesday its chief executive, Trevor O'Hoy, has resigned and the Australian beverage giant has written down the value of its global wine assets.

Foster's is conducting a strategic review of its wine assets. It bought Australian winemaker Southcorp in 2005 for $2.8 billion.

"The reality is we did not execute the Southcorp integration as well as we expected and operating conditions are now more challenging," Chairman David Crawford said.

"We must also recognize and acknowledge that we paid too much to acquire wine assets," he added.

The company expects to report a non-cash impairment charge of $570 million to $666 million to the carrying value of its global wine assets. It also expects to report a $67 million non-cash writedown of surplus Australian bulk wine inventories.

-- Associated Press


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