Is Associated British Foods cheap or boring?
Associated British Foods (ABF) is a FTSE 100 name that is ‘a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £13.9 billion, 133,000 employees and operations in 53 countries across Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia’. It has been years and years since I last owned the shares and despite it being a very diversified business with Grocery (Twinings and Ovaltine), Sugar (UK beet sugar factories typically produce well over 1 million tonnes of sugar annually), Agriculture (animal feed, nutrition- and technology-based products and offers data services for the agri-food industry), Ingredients (yeast and bakery ingredients production) and Retail (hello Primark). And with regard to the shareholder base, don't forget that '54.5% of ABF is owned by Wittington Investments. 79.2% of the share capital of Wittington Investments is owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation, which is one of the UK's largest grant-making charitable trusts'. Lots of history...and secure ownership makes a real difference.