Bright Food said to have bought 75% stake in Manassen Foods

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th August 2011

Chinese food group Bright Food has reportedly agreed to buy a 75 per cent stake in Australian-branded food manufacturer and importer Manassen Foods.

A Reuters report said yesterday (14 July 2011) the stake is being sold by CHAMP Private Equity, an independent buyout fund manager. According to the report, existing shareholders and management will continue to own the rest of Manassen Foods.

Manassen Foods has developed into an iconic Australian business over the past 60 years. Beginning from humble origins by a European immigrant family of survivors of World War Two, it became one of Australia’s leading grocery importers, now ranked in the top 40 suppliers to Australian supermarkets.

Manassen Foods sells its own brands – including dairy products under the Margaret River label – and acts as a distributor for products owned by the likes of Arla Foods, Premier Foods plc and Groupe Bel, with a portfolio including Carr’s, McVities, Ryvita, Bovril, Globus, Laughing Cow, Jelly Belly, Babybel, Sharwood’s, Castello Cheese and Lemnos Fetta. The company was founded in 1953 and has more than 350 employees.

Bright Food has been looking to make acquisitions outside of China. Last year, it acquired a 51% stake in New Zealand dairy firm Synlait Milk. It was also named in reports as a bidder for 50% of French yoghurt maker Yoplait but the stake that was eventually sold to General Mills.