A2 Milk Company takeover duo revealed

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th June 2015

Freedom FoodsFreedom Foods Group and large US food manufacturer Dean Foods Company have been officially revealed as the interested parties wanting jointly to take over the A2 Milk Company.

The A2 Milk Company had earlier announced that two unnamed companies had approached the A2 Milk Company but by Wednesday 24 June 2015 the Australian Stock Exchange had made it imperative to disclose the names of the interested parties given the serious media speculation.

Freedom Foods

Freedom Foods is a publicly-listed Australian-based food company that was established in 1990 and specialises in health-oriented foods.

The company is owned by the wealthy Sydney-based Perich family. The family already has big investments within the dairy sector including Leppington Pastoral Company, which operates some of Australia’s largest dairy farms.

The family has been in the dairy business for a long time starting with one farm in 1951.Tony Perich leads the family’s business operations alongside his brother Ron and they have a number of other successful business interests outside of the food industry and including major property investments.

Earlier it was speculated by The Australian newspaper that Freedom Foods might be working with Chinese giant New Hope Dairy as the Perich family had announced 6 months ago its involvement in a dairy farm investment vehicle, the ‘Australian Fresh Milk Holdings’ consortium with New Hope Dairy. However, the Chinese interest in dairy farm investment in Australia may relate more to sourcing additional milk for the China market.

Dean Food Company

By contrast , Dean Food Company,  which has operated since 1925 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has a strong presence in the US and globally.  There would be natural synergies with Freedom Foods and the planned expansion plans for the A2 Dairy Company which has previously said it has plans for more than half its sales to come from sales into the US market.

Dean Food Company has a heavy focus on dairy products and already has a global presence with manufacturing plants in Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Dean Food has 100 facilities within the US, and its product categories and brands already include Dairy Pure milk, Fruit Rush juice, and Alta Dena milk, cream and cottage cheese.

With over 21 000 employees the publicly-listed manufacturer has been lead by Greg Tanner since 2010 who has a background as a dairy industry leader. Tanner was one of the owners of Suiza Dairy which was bought by the Dean Food Company in 2001.

Although the Dean Food Company reported a net loss of $20 million for the full 2014 year, its Chief Financial Officer, Chris Bellairs, said that the profit drop reflected the “difficult environment” the company has been operating in.

The A2 Milk business could be considered a vehicle for innovation and growth by both the Dean Food Company and Freedom Foods in the US market.