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AVI is something of an enigma among SA food companies. Untainted by scandal or controversy unlike most of its commodity-type food producer peers that were involved in the bread price-fixing scandal of a few years ago, AVI just keeps bumbling along, churning out predictable low to mid-single digit earnings growth and regularly paying out special dividends. In fact, this is where its main attraction lies: as a no-surprises, high-yielding relatively defensive stock.

Last year, its Snackworks businesses were the subject of an attempted buyout by multinational food producer Mondelez. After protracted negotiations, Mondelez left but not before taking AVI’s long-time CFO Owen Cressey with them...

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