Olam out of Dairy Farmers race

Singapore-based food ingredients group, Olam International, has pulled out of the race to buy Dairy Farmers.

Chief executive Sunny Verghese said this week that there was “little strategic sense” in making a bid for Dairy Farmers, which is the subject of interest from firms including National Foods and Parmalat.

“It is largely a domestic play and largely in the branded business, which is not currently the focus of Olam,” Verghese said.

Olam had been named as a potential suitor for Dairy Farmers, which put itself up for sale in April. Two consortiums, one between National Foods and Australian dairy firm Warrnambool Butter and Cheese Factory, and one involving Parmalat and local co-operative Murray Goulburn have formally declared their interest.

Earlier this week, reports said New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra had decided not to push ahead with a solo bid with Dairy Farmers amid claims it was in talks with National Foods over a joint offer.

National Foods’ current bid partner, Warrnambool Butter and Cheese, has insisted it is unaware of any potential partnership with Fonterra.

Dairy Farmers is valued at around A$960m (US$925m).

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