Fonterra to acquire Nestle's Australian yogurt business

by Keith Nunes
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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Fonterra intends to acquire Nestle Australia Ltd.’s yogurt and dairy dessert business, including its Echuca factory in Australia. The acquisition will be completed by Sept. 1, according to Fonterra. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Fonterra also will acquire the long-term rights to manufacture and sell Nestle’s yogurt and dairy dessert brands in Australia under license, alongside its own existing brands.

For Fonterra the acquisition represents a step toward achieving its growth strategy in Australia, said John Doumani, managing director for Fonterra Australia New Zealand.

"We currently do not have a national presence in Australia’s yogurt and dairy dessert sector," he said. "By acquiring Nestle’s yogurt and dairy dessert business, it provides us with a national position and complements our existing portfolio where we hold leading national positions in cheese and spreads through our Mainland, Bega and Western Star brands."

Graham Campbell, managing director for Nestle Australia Ltd., said Nestle is committed to being a leading nutrition, health and wellness company, and having a significant ongoing Nestle brand presence in the yogurt and dairy dessert aisle of Australian supermarkets is a key element of the strategy.

"We have a successful track record of marketing through arrangements of this kind, both in Australia and overseas," Mr. Campbell said. "We believe that this new operation creates a soundly-based commercial entity that is well placed to be one of the leaders in the yogurt and dairy dessert sector, and we are delighted that the vast majority of employees will be moving across to Fonterra."

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