Published On: Thu, Nov 26th, 2020

Bega Cheese to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks for $412m

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Bega Cheese has agreed to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks for AUD560 million ($412 million) from Australian food and beverage company Lion, which in turn is a subsidiary of Japanese beverage company Kirin Holdings.

Part of the sale are all the white milk, milk-based beverages (MBB), yoghurt, juice and water ice brands and assets of Lion Dairy & Drinks.

Also included in the deal are the Lion Dairy & Drinks’ international business, and its share of the joint ventures – Vitasoy Australia Products and Capitol Chilled Foods Australia (CCFA), along with its minority stake in Made by Cow.

Additionally, Bega Cheese will also be acquiring the licensing agreement of Lion Dairy & Drinks for the Yoplait brand.

Stuart Irvine – Lion CEO said: “The sale will see Bega, as an established dairy and food company with more than 120 years of heritage, well placed to drive the business forward given its deep dairy capabilities and strong commitment to iconic Australian brands and the local dairy industry.

“Today’s announcement is an important step forward. Both Dairy & Drinks and Lion will move into the year ahead with the focus and capital to realise our growth aspirations.

Bega Cheese to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks for $412m

Bega Cheese to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks for $412m. Photo courtesy of LION.

“The retained Lion business has a clear strategy to become a leading global, crafted adult drinks business. The completion of this sale will enable further investment behind our priority categories of core beer, craft beer and seltzer in both domestic and international markets.”

According to Lion, the sale along with previously closed AUD 280 million divestiture of the specialty cheese business to Saputo Dairy Australia marks a full divestment of tits dairy and drinks business.

Barry Irvin – Bega Cheese Executive Chairman said: “We are delighted to announce this acquisition which we believe will create significant value for shareholders. The acquisition delivers important industry consolidation and value creation with synergies across the entire supply chain.

“The expanded product range, manufacturing and distribution infrastructure and brand portfolio realises our ambition of creating a truly great Australian food company.”

The closing of the deal is expected at the end of January 2021.

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