CHICAGO — The Kraft Heinz Co. has entered into an agreement with Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. to acquire the Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee business in Australia and New Zealand and the Asian Home Gourmet Singapore business in a transaction valued at A$290 million (approximately $227 million). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee business includes brands in Australia and New Zealand across a number of categories spanning sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts and cooking ingredients. Brands include Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro and Asian Home Gourmet.
Kraft Heinz already has a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand with a stable of brands, including Heinz, Kraft, Wattie’s, Eta and Golden Circle in categories including beans and spaghetti, sauces, soups and dressings.
“The transaction provides an exciting opportunity for Kraft Heinz to expand its portfolio into complementary categories, stretching the footprint of Cerebos’ brands into new categories and markets,” said Bruno Lino, chief executive officer of Kraft Heinz Australia and New Zealand, who will lead the combined business. “In addition to the iconic local brands, Cerebos has a strong team that will play an important role in our future growth. This transaction reinforces our commitment and long-term plan to the Australia and New Zealand markets in addition to our significant investment in the Kraft brand for 2018. We will continue investing in our brands, factories and our employees to meet consumer needs and expectations.”
Headquartered in Japan, Suntory Beverage & Food (SBF), a global soft drink company with net sales of approximately 1.4 trillion yen ($12 billion), will retain the Cerebos Fresh Coffee business in Australia and New Zealand. That business will be renamed Suntory Coffee and will be led by Terry Svenson, c.e.o. of Cerebos Australia/New Zealand.
“As we announced in April 2017, the Food & Instant Coffee business has a number of market-leading brands across Australia and New Zealand and has made significant progress in recent years, particularly in relation to improvements in manufacturing efficiency,” Mr. Svenson said. “However, Food & Instant Coffee is not a core focus category for SBF, and we believe this business can be maximized under different ownership. The Food & Instant Coffee business will now have opportunities to leverage Kraft Heinz’s operations to grow the business further.“In the meantime, the transaction also enables our Fresh Coffee business, to benefit from SBF’s continued investment and focus on its beverage portfolio, so we can capitalize on our market leading positions to maximize growth opportunities.”