Bega is the frontrunner to buy the assets of Lion’s drinks – some of Australia’s most popular juice and milk brands.
Bega has been amazing recently buying back a number of foreign owned Australian household brands including Vegemite and Kraft peanut butter that was renamed Bega Peanut butter.
The listed dairy group is well placed to make the purchase at it works with Lion on Capital Chilled Foods Australia which manufactures in the ACT and markets and sells products under the Canberra Milk brand.
The Lion Dairy & Drinks business employs around 2,300 people across Australia with some people based in Singapore, Malaysia and China. The portfolio includes Dairy Farmers, Pura, Dare, Farmers Union, Yoplait, Daily Juice, The Juice Brothers and Berri.
Dairy & Drinks’ core activities in Australia are the manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of white milk, flavoured milks, fresh dairy foods, and fruit juices.
The Australian manufacturing footprint span 11 sites including milk, yoghurt and juice facilities.
The business also has a joint venture with Vitasoy International Holdings, Vitasoy Australia Products, which manufactures, markets and sells plant-based products under the Vitasoy brand.
Japanese owned Kirin Holdings (Lion) bought the company in 2008 from Australian owned National Foods.
Lion Dairy & Drinks also manufactures, markets and sells yoghurt and dairy desserts under the Yoplait brand in Australia. We also have the licence to sell and market the Yoplait brand in select South East Asian markets.
Lion Dairy & Drinks partners with 280 dairy farmers and 85 fruit growers across Australia.
The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg set up the purchase earlier this year he rejected the $600 million Chinese purchase of the business.
At the time we posed the question: Is this an opportunity for an Australian owned company to stand up and buy the Lion drinks business?