Warrnambool surprises with $16 million profit increase for first half
March 3, 2014

WCB has reported a profit increase of $16 million Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) has announced a half year net statutory operating profit after tax of $31.3 million, an increase of $16 million or 104.7 per cent compared with the same period last year. Included in the statutory profit were material items totalling $5.2 million after tax. The material items after tax included $2.1 million of takeover defence costs associated with takeover bids received by WCB during the six months to 31 December... ...Read more »

Lion dairy business facing tough conditions, while Bega sees growth
February 24, 2014

Australian-based dairy businesses have coped differently with 'difficult' market conditions Food and beverage company Lion has announced its Dairy and Drinks business experienced “significant margin pressure” in the 2013 year, while dairy business Bega Cheese has reported a positive start to the 2014 financial year, showing growth in its half yearly results. Bega’s ‘strong business model’ sees growth in difficult trading environment New South Wales based dairy company Bega Cheese... ...Read more »

Australian chocolatier acquired by UK investment company
February 19, 2014

Hillier's Chocolates has been sold to the Australian arm of a UK investment firm Australia’s oldest chocolatier, Ernest Hillier Pty Ltd (Ernest Hillier), has been acquired by Re:Capital, the Australian arm of UK investment company Hilco Capital. The sale comes as the former owners of Ernest Hillier’s, the Piedimonte family, which owns a chain of supermarkets in Melbourne, focus on other business interests. Ernest Hillier was founded in 1914 and operates under the Hillier’s Chocolates and... ...Read more »

Gloria Jean’s to shift to franchise-only business model
February 19, 2014

Gloria Jean's will shift to a franchise-only business model Coffee store group Gloria Jean’s Coffees (Gloria Jean’s) will shift to a franchise-only business model, which will see up to 25 of its 400 Australian outlets could close or become franchise operations by the end of March 2014. The change in business model comes after Gloria Jean’s was acquired by Singapore-based company Global Yellow Pages (GYP) in December 2013. At the time of the takeover, GYP said it believed there was significant... ...Read more »

Another major Australian milk supplier gets snapped up
February 5, 2014

Another major Australian milk supplier gets snapped up The sale of privately-owned dairy giant United Dairy Power to Hong Kong businessman William Hui is locked in, according to Stock & Land. It was reportedly sold for around $70 million. The paper reports Hui is the chairman and major shareholder of Swing Media Technology. United Dairy Power processes milk, butter and cheese and operates from South Australia and Victoria. Owner Tony Esposito has reportedly been seeking a buyer for two years. United... ...Read more »

Black Swan dips business for sale
January 28, 2014

The Black Swan dips brand is for sale One of Australia’s largest dips brands, Black Swan, is for sale, seven months after it was placed into receivership. The receiver, finance and risk management consultants Deloitte, said the sale is not related to the financial position of the business, and that Black Swan has a “demonstrated track record of profitability and top-line growth”. Deloitte said the brand saw sales of over 20 million containers of dip in Australia each year. Deloitte has placed... ...Read more »

Lion to hold onto WCB shares, Murray Goulburn to sell its WCB shares to Saputo
January 28, 2014

Murray Goulburn will sell its WCB shares to Saputo, Lion to retain for now Food and beverage company Lion has said it has no current intention to sell its share in Victorian dairy company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) to Canadian dairy company Saputo, after Saputo gained a majority share in WCB last week. Meanwhile, Saputo’s rival in the battle for WCB, dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn, has announced that it will withdraw its bid for WCB and sell its share of WCB to Saputo. The Lion sleeps The... ...Read more »

Saputo takeover of WCB looks likely as Bega announces it will sell WCB shares to Saputo
January 20, 2014

Bega to sell its WCB shares to Saputo New South Wales-based dairy company Bega Cheese Limited (Bega) has announced its intention to sell its 18.8 per cent shareholding in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) to Canadian dairy company Saputo. The move makes a Saputo takeover of WCB likely. Bega Cheese, which pulled out of the battle for WCB ownership in December 2013, will realise a substantial profit on the sale of its WCB shares. Depending on Saputo’s relevant interest at the close of its offer,... ...Read more »

A Bright Food future as China-based group expands with WA cheese acquisition
January 15, 2014

Mundella Foods has been acquired by China-based Bright Food Group China’s Bright Food Group Co Ltd (Bright Food) has agreed to buy Western Australian dairy company Mundella Foods, expanding the conglomerate’s global reach and boosting its exposure to the dairy market. Through its Australian subsidiary, Manassen Foods, Bright Food has signed an agreement to buy Mundella. Australian Food News reported in August 2011 that Bright Food had acquired a 75 per cent share of Manassen Foods, which supplies... ...Read more »

Global interest in Warrnambool dairy processor, acquisition speculation grows
January 6, 2014

Interest in Victorian dairy company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) has attracted a new potential bidder, according to media reports. There is speculation that Chinese state-owned China Investment Corporation is interested in WCB and may step into the bidding war. Canadian dairy company Saputo has a $9 per share offer for WCB that is due to expire Friday 10 January 2014, though there is speculation that deadline could be extended. The WCB Board has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept... ...Read more »

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