Parmalat join race for Dairy Farmers

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th May 2008

Italian dairy producer Parmalat, owner of the Paul’s and Vaalia brands, has reportedly joined with local farmers co-operative Murray Goulburn to launch a bid for NSW-based Dairy Farmers.

Dairy Farmers, whose brands include Dare, Ski and Coon, is an Australian company owned by a group of about 2000 farmers and they have been seeking offers since their announcement that they were “on the market” earlier this year.

The number of suitors putting up their hand for Dairy Farmers is steadily increasing with Parmalat joining Fonterra and National Foods in the auction for the Australian dairy co-operative. Dairy Farmers has indicated that Parmalat and Goulburn Farmers have already sought ACCC approval for the bid, with an announcement likely in mid-July.

The three bidders are all in competition with Dairy Farmers to some degree and this has led to Dairy Farmers requiring that bidding companies seek regulatory clearance from the ACCC before they analyse any offers.

The ACCC is still analysing the potential impact on competition of the National Foods and Fonterra bids, with formal announcements due in July.