Murray Goulburn tipped to bid for Peters Ice Cream

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd February 2014
Peters Ice Cream could be for sale again, with Murray Goulburn tipped to bid for ownership

There is growing speculation that Australian ice cream brand Peters Ice Cream could be for sale, with dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn tipped to make a bid.

The Peters Ice Cream business is reportedly on the market again, after global food company Nestle sold Peters Ice Cream to private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners in June 2012.

The speculation that Murray Goulburn could be well-placed to bid for the ice cream brand after it recently pulled out of the battle for acquisition of Victorian based dairy company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB), selling its WCB shareholding to Canadian dairy company Saputo for cash proceeds of at least $92.9 million.

Other potential bidders for Peters Ice Cream could include New South Wales based dairy company Bega Cheese and Chinese dairy company Bright Food Group Co Ltd (Bright Food). Australian Food News reported that Bright Food has been active in the Australian dairy market recently, acquiring Western Australian dairy company Mundella Foods in January 2014.

Peters Ice Cream portfolio includes brands such as Drumstick, Connoisseur, Maxibon, Skinny Cow, Billabong, Heaven, and Frosty Fruits.

According to market research organisation Nielsen’s ‘Retail World Grocery Guide 2012’, the Peters Ice Cream portfolio had 29.7 per cent value and 27 per cent volume share of the overall $992 million ice cream category. Peters Ice Cream had 31.7 per cent value and 30.2 per cent volume share of the $486 million multipack ice cream segment, 28 per cent value and 26 per cent volume share of the $483 million tub ice cream segment, and 32.1 per cent value and 31.1 per cent volume share of the $19.8 million frozen desserts segment.

Peters Ice Cream was founded in 1907 by American expatriate Fred Peters. The Company was taken over by Adelaide Steamship Company (AdSteam) in the late 1980s, and then by Pacific Dunlop (now known as Ansell). Pacific Dunlop sold its food assets in the mid-1990s, and Peters Ice Cream was acquired by Nestle, which sold Peters to Pacific Equity Partners on mid-2012.