Lion Australia, the Kirin-owned Australian food and drinks manufacturer, has announced it has reached an agreement to sell its Dairy & Drinks business to Chinese dairy firm Mengniu in a deal valued at A$600 million ($406 million).
The sale includes all white milk, milk-based drinks, yoghurt, juice and water ice brands and assets, as well as Lion Dairy & Drinks’ International business, its share of the joint ventures Vitasoy Australia Products and Capitol Chilled Foods Australia, and its licensing agreement for the Yoplait brand.
Once completed, the sale, together with that of the specialty cheese business to Saputo Dairy Australia, will represent a full divestment of the Dairy & Drinks business, Lion Australia said.
Commenting on the deal, Lion Australia CEO Stuart Irvine added: “We believe that Mengniu Dairy, a specialty dairy player, is an ideal owner to take Dairy & Drinks forward, given its track record of investing in the Australian dairy industry, together with its global reach and deep capabilities. Bringing the businesses together will help drive Mengniu Dairy’s growth in the Australian domestic market, while also accelerating Dairy & Drinks’ aspirations in South East Asia and China”.
Among Mengniu’s other recent investments in the Australia dairy space this year was its acquisition of infant formula maker Bellamy’s, announced in September.
Source: Lion (Australia)