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Australia Bega Cheese confirms purchase of Lion Dairy and Drinks, owner of Pura Milk, Dare and Yoplait

04:26  26 november  2020
04:26  26 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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But given Bega Cheese ’s interest, Lion ’s Japanese owner Kirin can relax. Bega , which owns the iconic spread Vegemite, is building up an impressive array of brands. Adding Lion products like Yoplait and Farmers’ Union will give the 5 million company a local edge over rivals in a fragmented market.

Dairy company Bega is set to acquire Japanese owned Lion Dairy and Drinks . The NSW south coast business is purchasing Lion 's for 4million, with the transaction to be funded by Australian yoghurt favourites including Yoplait and Farmers Union, and juices such as Juice Brothers and Daily

a sign in front of a tree: With the purchase of Lion Dairy and Drinks, Bega Cheese will expand its sources of fresh milk from suppliers. (ABC News: Alexandra Beech) © Provided by ABC News With the purchase of Lion Dairy and Drinks, Bega Cheese will expand its sources of fresh milk from suppliers. (ABC News: Alexandra Beech)

ASX-listed dairy company Bega Cheese will purchase Lion Dairy and Drinks from Japan's Kirin for $534 million.

Emerging from a week-long trading halt, Bega Cheese said the deal would be complete by January.

In November last year, Kirin had lined up a $600 million deal with China's Mengniu Dairy, however, the deal was blocked on national interest grounds by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Canadian dairy conglomerate Saputo and financial firm Tanarra Capital were also bidders until recently.

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Dairy processor and drink manufacturer Lion confirms it has been forced to shut down production after being hit by a cyber attack. Lion Dairy and Drinks business is amongst the top five largest milk processors in Australia. (ABC News: Alex Blucher).

Lion Dairy & Drinks (LD&D Milk Pty Ltd and LD&D Foods Pty Ltd), formerly known as "National Foods", is a major dairy company in Australia. LD&D's factories (which carry the "Pura" branding) are located at: VIC: 150 Wells Rd, Chelsea Heights, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

But now Lion, the owner of Pura Milk, Dare iced coffee, Vitasoy, Yoplait yogurt and Australia's largest national cold supply chain network, will fall into Australian hands.

Nine Media reported Bega was provided with detailed financial information about Lion late last week and talks between the two companies continued through this week.

Today, Bega Cheese, which was advised by Kidder Williams, said it hoped to raise $401 million by offering 87 million new shares to make the purchase.

The new shares will be $4.60 and 180 million worth them will be offered to the market, while $220 million will be made available to existing shareholders.

Existing shareholders who take up the offer to buy more shares will be able to purchase one additional share for every four and a half they currently own and will not be able to transfer them to another investor.

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Kirin said the future of Lion Dairy and Drinks would be re-examined. The business produces well-known brands including Pura milk , Vitasoy, Farmer’s Union, Daily Juice Company, Masters milk , Yoplait yoghurt and Dare iced coffee products. The development comes amid increasing trade

Lion Dairy and Drinks is now owned by Japanese company Kirin. Mr Joyce said China's "creeping acquisition" of dairy -related assets was of deep concern Mengniu, which currently sources milk from processers in New Zealand and Europe, also plans to significantly increase its purchase of raw milk

Expanded reach

Bega Cheese sources fresh milk from suppliers around southern New South Wales and throughout northern and south-west Victoria.

The acquisition of Lion expands that to include farmers in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and south-east Queensland.

Bega announced an opening farmgate milk price of $6.75 kilograms per milk solids (kg/MS), while Lion's Victorian suppliers were offered $6.52 kg/MS.

Past acquisitions racking up legal bills

Bega purchased a range of Kraft productions from Mondelez International in 2017, including Vegemite and peanut butter, for $460 million.

The company has since spent $15.2 million in a legal battle with US-based Kraft, which is seeking to stop Bega from using the well-known jars and yellow lid synonymous with Kraft products.

The full court of the Federal Court sided with Bega Cheese in that matter, but Kraft-Heinz has decided to appeal that decision in the High Court of Australia.

A separate move by Bega to replace the Kraft logo with a Bega one on jars of peanut butter, macaroni cheese and similar products kicked off a second legal fight with New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra.

That matter is still awaiting judgment in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

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