Sector News

Warrnambool buys Lion’s cheese business for $137.5 million

March 4, 2015
Food & Drink
Victorian cheesemaker Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory has agreed to buy the everyday cheese business of Lion Dairy for $137.5 million in an all-cash deal.
 
The acquisition will allow it to increase presence in the branded cheese market, Warrnambool said in a statement. The deal is expected to close by the end of May.
 
The deal involves Warrnambool taking over Lion’s cheese brands that include Coon, Mil Lel, Fred Walker and Cracker Barrel, as well as taking control of Lion’s cut-and-wrap facility in Victoria.
 
Lion, owned by Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings, had acquired a 10 per cent stake in Warrnambool in 2013 to safeguard its cheese operations, which are supplied by Warrnambool.
 
Canadian dairy giant Saputo last year acquired Warrnambool after a furious bidding war with rival suitors Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn.
 
By Prashant Mehra
 

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