Costa Group buys avocado business

Horticultural company Costa Group has signed an agreement for the acquisition of the Lankester Avocado orchards and packing operations from the Lankester family.

There are total plantings of 130 hectares across the three farms with the season running from February through to June. An additional 60 hectares will be planted over the coming 12 months.

“With the current circa 370 hectares of avocados Costa has in central Queensland and the South Australian Riverland, this acquisition will bring the Company’s total plantings to circa 500 hectares and allow us to continue to build our production scale”, said Harry Debney, CEO Costa Group.

The acquisition agreement has been entered into in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM). Under the agreement, MAFM will purchase the farms and enter into a 20-year lease with Costa to operate them. This is the second acquisition under an arrangement between the two parties (announced in December 2016) to jointly consider M&A projects.

The Lankester family will remain with the business to perform key management and operational roles.

“The Lankester family have been in the Atherton region for many years and they have built their business into one that has a strong market presence with opportunity for future growth, which Costa found to be an attractive proposition when considering our next avocado investment”, said Debney.

The acquisition is expected be completed by the end of July 2017. The acquisition price will not be publicly disclosed at the request of the parties.

Food & beverage deal activity takes a breather

Following a frantic start to 2017, corporate activity in the food and beverage industry slowed down in April and May 2017 with only four transactions announced during this period.

The standout transaction in the quarter was the acquisition of Mainland Poultry by private equity firm, Navis Capital for approximately NZ$300 million. The Mainland Poultry sale process attracted attention from several private equity investors. Looming capital expenditure over the next five years, however was reported to impact the attractiveness of the Mainland Poultry business to a number of interested parties.

Internationally, levels of corporate activity in the food and beverage industry remain high. Kraft Heinz made a surprise U$143 billion proposal to Unilever to merge the two businesses. The aim of the proposal was to build a global consumer goods behemoth. The proposal was however, rejected by Unilever in February. Through the merger proposal received from Kraft Heinz, Unilever conducted a review of the business and initiated a sale process for its spreads business. The Unilever spreads business includes iconic brands such as Flora and Stork.

In Australia, Suntory has announced that it would sell the Cerebos food and instant coffee businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Popular brands that will be offered for sale through the sale process include Gravox, Fountain and Saxa.

Coca Cola Amatil’s investment in SPC Ardmona is also believed to be under review after Coca Cola Amatil reported a $172 million impairment against its investment in the business.

Although deal announcements slowed down in the months of April and May, the market is still active with investors and participants actively pursuing opportunities to grow their businesses through acquisitions and streamlining operations through disposals.

[Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food & beverage industry]

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Food & beverage deal activity starts the year strongly

Corporate activity in the food and beverage industry was unexpectedly high in February and March 2017 with a number of transactions announced during this period.

The standout transaction in the quarter was the acquisition of Allied Mills by Pacific Equity Partners from Graincorp and Cargill Australia. The proposed strategy is to integrate Allied Mills with the Pinnacle bakery business that PEP acquired in March 2015. PEP has been an active acquirer in the bakery industry over the past 12 months with several bolt-on acquisitions concluded for the Pinnacle business.

The organic and health food sectors were active with the acquisition of wholesale distributors Australian Organics (Pacific Organics) and Kadac by Murray River Organics and New Development Corporation respectively. Health food chain Healthy Life was also acquired by Allegro Funds.

The two deals in the pet food sector were both concluded by Real Pet Food Company. Real Pet Food Company acquired NZ-based Bombay Petfoods and pet food manufacturer Consolidated Manufacturing Enterprises. These two acquisition are in addition to the two domestic and one international acquisition concluded by Real Pet Food Company in 2016.

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Four food and beverage companies listed on the ASX over the two-month period. Three of the four companies that listed on the ASX have a strong customer focus on the Chinese market.

Deal activity in the first three months of 2017 has started strongly. The food and beverage sector remains highly attractive for investors looking to tap into consumer spend in Australia and Asia.

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[Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food & beverage industry. For more information visit]

RPC Group purchases Amber Plastics

RPC Group, a global plastic product design and engineering company for both packaging and selected non-packaging markets, has purchased Amber Plastics for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 2012, Amber is a leading supplier of injection-moulded plastic packaging containers to the dairy and food industry in Australia.

It will form part of the RPC Superfos Division and thereby take advantage of the readily available extensive product portfolio specifically designed to serve both the Food and Non-food end-markets.

“The acquisition represents an opportunity for RPC, as part of its Vision 2020 growth strategy, to capitalise on opportunities in growing markets outside of Europe,” a RPC spokesman said.

The Amber acquisition is the second within four months by RPC in Australia.

The sale of Amber was managed by Transworld Business Advisors (Mergers & Acquisitions) in Melbourne.

Image: Amber Plastics

Patties CEO says more takeovers on the table

Australia’s ready-meal sector will surpass $1 billion in the near future and a shift towards healthier eating is playing a major part, it has been claimed.

Paul Hitchcock, CEO of Patties Foods, has said the company is seeking new acquisitions with projections showing the huge growth in the market. 

Having recently acquired Australian Wholefoods, he also believes the sector is now providing far more than TV dinners” and told the AFR it will grow by more than 10 per cent annually.

“The category is still relatively new,” Hitchcock told the AFR. “It’s trending toward $1 billion but we’re not there yet.

The chilled ready meals category grew by 13 per cent in the past year for the retailer “as customers continue to look for convenient and affordable meal solutions”, according to a Woolworths spokesman.

“Busy lifestyles mean consumers are attracted to convenience meals by their relatively low cost, ease of use and variety,” a spokesman for Coles added.

Patties Foods was acquired by the provate equity firm Pacific Equity Partners for $231 million last year.

Kraft Heinz withdraws bid to merge with Unilever

Kraft Heinz has withdrawn its US$143bn offer to buy Unilever because it judged by Unilever as too low.

In a joint statement, the companies said: “Unilever and Kraft Heinz hereby announce that Kraft Heinz has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies.

“Unilever and Kraft Heinz hold each other in high regard. Kraft Heinz has the utmost respect for the culture, strategy and leadership of Unilever.”

As the Independent reports, if the deal had been successful the resources of Kraft Heinz and Unilver combined would have been enough to rival the world’s biggest packaged food maker, Nestle.


GrainCorp sells stake in Allied Mills

GrainCorp is selling its 60 per cent stake in manufacturer of bakery premixes and products Allied Mills to Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) for $190 million.

PEP said in a statement Allied Mills will be integrated with their Pinnacle, their Bakery and Integrated Ingredients business.

With over a century of flour milling and food ingredient manufacturing experience, Allied Mills annually buys and processes around 800,000 tonnes of wheat and specialty grains including maize, rye, triticale, organic hard, soft and noodle wheats.

Pinnacle has a leading position in the sweet bakery products and bakery ingredients market, manufacturing and distributing finished and unbaked goods such as cakes, pastries, cookies, muffins and donuts, as well as bakery ingredients such as fillings and fondants. Both businesses service major supermarkets, food manufacturers and foodservice operators.

“Since acquiring Pinnacle, PEP has substantially increased investment in both R&D and manufacturing capability and demonstrated an unwavering focus on delivering great results for our customers. The combination of Pinnacle and Allied Mills offers a unique opportunity to generate value through category-leading innovation and technology solutions while embedding a world-class supply chain which can service more customers, more often,” said Pinnacle CEO, James Ajaka.

The combined group will concentrate on products in the frozen specialty baking, in-store baking and bakery ingredients areas.

The transaction is expected to close within two to three months.

Food and beverage industry expecting strong deal activity in 2017

Corporate activity in the food and beverage industry was unexpectedly high in December 2016 and January 2017 with several substantial transactions announced during this period.

Acquisitions announced

The standout transaction in the quarter was the acquisition of the Mondelêz Australia Grocery Business by Bega Cheese for $460 million. The Mondelêz grocery business includes iconic Australian brands such as Vegemite, ZoOSh salad dressing and sauces and Bonox spreads. The Mondelêz grocery business has an estimated 31 per cent share of the $550 million spreads category in Australia.

The baked goods and prepared meals sector saw two transactions with Temptation Bakeries and New Zealand-based Leader Group both sold.

Raphael Geminder, the chairman of Pact Group, acquired 43.5 per cent of Green’s Foods from CVC for approximately $24 million. Geminder is now the largest shareholder in Green’s Foods.

Costa Group has acquired the Avocado Ridge orchards and packing operations in central Queensland in a joint venture with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management.

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Listings on the ASX

Murray River Organics was the most substantial IPO, listing on the ASX on 16 December 2016 after raising $35 million as part of the IPO process.

2017 is shaping up to be a dynamic year across the food and beverage industry with strong interest in the industry from both trade investors and financial investors.

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[Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food & beverage industry]

Bega Cheese buys Vegemite

Iconic Australian brand Vegemite is back in local hands following Bega Cheese’s acquisition of most of Mondelēz International’s Australian and New Zealand grocery products.

Bega Cheese said in a statement the deal will cost $460 million. Apart from Vegemite, it includes ZoOsh, Bonox as well as Kraft-branded products under licence, including peanut butter, nut spreads, processed cheese slices, cheese spread, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and Kraft Mac & Cheese. However, the Philadelphia cream cheese brand is not included in the deal

As The Australian reports, in addition the purchase includes the Port Melbourne manufacturing site.

“The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting,” said Bega Cheese’s Executive Chairman, Barry Irvin.

That aside, he said “this acquisition will be value accretive in its own right, strategically important and company making. These iconic brands alongside the Bega brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great consumer goods business.”

“In addition to Vegemite and the other brands being undeniably iconic, the people we are taking on are very impressive and will play an important role in growing the merged business.” He said “we look forward to welcoming the new employees to Bega Cheese and are excited about the opportunities which will be created by bringing them and the MDLZ Grocery Business together with Bega Cheese.”

Omniverse Group and Foster Packaging announce merger

Omniverse Group and Foster Packaging have joined forces to create one company, Omniverse Foster Packaging Group.

After many years of successfully working together on a variety of projects, the two companies have decided to pool their resources, skills and expertise (over 75 years, combined) to create a company with a far greater international footprint, purchasing power, stock management and efficient supply chain logistics.

The new company will be able to offer a broader variety of packaging types, including flexible, rigid and shelf ready packaging as well as a range of off the shelf stock pouches.

Co-founders, Joe Foster, Brendan Yee, Regan Foster and Darren Brits have a shared vision which emphasises good customer service and quality packaging.

Australian owned, the company boasts a dedicated manufacturing facility in Melbourne with an in-house laboratory for product testing and traceability. Because its overseas factories are supported by international technical offices, they are able to manufacture to Australian quality standards.


Activity in Food & Beverage sector remains strong

August and September 2016 recorded high levels of corporate activity in the food and beverage sector. A total of 10 acquisitions were announced over the two-month period with expectations for a strong finish to the year.

The standout transaction was the acquisition of Snack Brands Australia (which counts the pictured Kettle Chips amongst its products) by Universal Robina Corp for $600 million. Universal Robina acquired Snack Brands from a consortium of investors, led by the Real McCoy Snackfood Co, who in turn acquired Snack Brands from Arnott’s Biscuits in 2008 for an undisclosed sum. Arnott’s asking price for the Snack Brands business in 2008 was said to be $30 million.

Other significant transactions include:

  • The acquisition of Hudson Pacific Corporation by Retail Food Group for $88 million.
  • The acquisition of Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Pact Group for $90 million, priced at 6.5x 2016 EBITDA.
  • The merger of Perfection Fresh and Fruitmaster to create Australia’s largest table grape grower and marketer.

Capilano Honey announced that it had sold its Manuka beekeeping assets for $9.2 million to a 50/50 joint venture with Comvita. It also acquired a 50% shareholding in a Western Australian honey producer for $2.5 million.

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Distribution and supply joint ventures

New distribution and supply joint ventures include:

  • A2 Milk Company and Synlait Milk entered into a 5-year agreement for the supply of a2 Platinum infant formula. The new arrangement is expected to progress future growth plans.
  • TerraVia and Nestlé Purina PetCare entered into a global joint development agreement targeting the companion animal market. The agreement will leverage algae based advanced nutrition ingredients developed by TerraVia.
  • Beston Global Food Company announced that it established a kids nutrition joint venture with Singapore based Mindchamps Holdings to supply fresh and nutritious food to pre-school children in Singapore.

A healthy deal pipeline is expected to drive corporate activity for the remainder of the year.

[Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food & beverage industry]

Plenty of activity in Food & Beverage sector

Deal making momentum from the second quarter of 2016 was carried forward into the third quarter. Seven acquisitions were announced in June and July, with the pipeline for the rest of the year looking strong.

Acquisitions announced

The acquisition of Patties Foods by Pacific Equity Partners is the most significant transaction announced during the two-month period.

The merger of CFA and Countrywide has increased the membership base of the merged group to 118. With almost $3 billion in revenue, the enlarged Countrywide is now the leading foodservice buying group. JB Metropolitan announced the acquisition of B&F Distributors which adds to the number of transactions in the foodservice distribution sector over the past 12 months. Scale is important in this sector and we expect further consolidation in the foodservice distribution sector over the remainder of the year.


A number of approaches and offers were made over the two months to 31 July 2016, which may lead to transactions, including:

  • Macquarie Group making an approach to the South Australian Produce Market; and
  • Shanghai Pharmaceutical making a $314 million takeover offer for ASX-listed Vitaco Holdings.

A number of sale processes are expected to progress in the second half of the year including Nature’s Care and Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.

Capital markets transactions

There were no IPO’s of food and beverage businesses on the ASX in the months of June and July 2016. IPO’s in the pipeline for the second half of the year include NZ King Salmon and poultry company Ingham’s Enterprises.

Distribution joint ventures

Beston Global Food Company is in discussions with Korean company, Taekyung Food & Processing to form a strategic alliance to supply food products into the Korean market.

Strong investor appetite for food and beverage businesses, low interest rates and a healthy deal pipeline will drive activity in the second half of 2016.

[Ben van der Westhuizen and David Baveystock are directors of Comet Line Consulting, an advisory business that specialises in acquisitions and divestments within the Australian food & beverage industry. For more information visit]

Ammeraal Beltech acquires Australian partner Rydell

Ammeraal Beltech, a Netherlands-based developer and manufacturers of process and conveyor belting has acquired its long-standing Australian distribution partner Rydell Industrial (Belting) Co.

Based in Melbourne, Rydell has seven additional loacl branches located in Moorabbin, Victoria; Hastings, Victoria; Kings Park, New South Wales; Darra, Queensland; Darra, Queensland; Dry Creek, South Australia; and Malaga, Western Australia.

The company will operate for the time being as Rydell Beltech Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ammeraal Beltech.

Current Managing Director Wayne Durdin will continue to lead the company and its existing 88 staff. He will report to Ammeraal Beltech’s Asia Pacific operations.

Jordi Crusafon, Head of Sales & Service for the EMEA and APAC regions at Ammeraal, welcomed the move.

“Rydell are solutions providers with a strong customer-focused approach, which matches perfectly the strategy of Ammeraal Beltech. We have worked together for 25 years now, so it is therefore a great pleasure to formally welcome this excellent team to our family,” he said

Maggie Beer selling half her food business

Popular Australian food identity Maggie Beer is selling a 48 per cent stake in her food business to Primary Opinion for $15 million.

The Barossa Valley based company, Maggie Beer Products (MBP) is based in the Barossa Valley and employs over 100 people. Beer runs it with her husband Colin.

As Fairfax Media reports, Primary Opinion intends to raise up to $25 million in new capital to fund its investment in MBP. The move marks the company’s intention to pursue further investment in the food and beverage sector.

Formerly called Jumbuck Entertainment, the Melbourne –based Primary Opinion is currently mainly involved in digital knowledge sharing for professionals

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, a former director of Primary Opinion, now holds a stake of about 7.65 per cent in the company.

“Maggie Beer as a name is an Australian icon,” Kennett told Fairfax. “To me this is very, very exciting … We will leverage up from here.”

Primary Opinion chairman Tony Robinson said expansion is on the cards for MBP.

“We’ve got the opportunity to grow the business with some extra capital,” Robinson told Fairfax. “The premium end of the market is growing strongly”.

The share price of Primary Opinion has increased by over 130 per cent over the past 6 months.

Nestlé and R&R to form ice cream joint venture

Nestlé and UK based ice cream company R&R have agreed to form a joint venture that will sell ice cream and frozen food in over 20 countries including Australia.

The 50/50 joint will be called Froneri and will be headquartered in the UK. As Reuters reports, there are plans to eventually list the company on the London Stock Exchange.

Apart from Australia, Froneri will operate primarily in Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel), Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa. The new company will combine Nestlé and R&R’s ice cream activities in the relevant countries and will include Nestlé’s European frozen food business (excluding pizza and retail frozen food in Italy), as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines.

“We are doing this in order to reinforce our positions to compete in a marketplace in a revolution in retail,” Luis Cantarell, head of Nestle’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business, told Reuters. “They have better capabilities (at retail) and we see an opportunity of a more holistic approach.”

R&R, one of Britain’s largest ice cream makers, is owned PAI Partners.

“Froneri, through the combination of Nestlé’s and R&R’s expertise, and the backing of PAI Partners, is a unique and exciting opportunity for further strong growth. We look forward to further leveraging our industrial approach to ownership and strong consumer expertise to support R&R in this new venture,” said Frédéric Stévenin, a partner at PAI Partners.

The transaction is subject to employee consultations and the approval of regulatory authorities. Financial details are not being disclosed.


Major breweries experience record-high M&A

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has long been a fixture of alcoholic beverage industries. Recently, major producers, particularly breweries, have begun consolidating their operations more frequently than previous years. The effects of these consolidations have radically transformed the market for alcoholic beverages throughout the 21st century.

Due to the pervasiveness of alcohol consumption, alcoholic beverage producers will play an indefinite role in the global economy. Many consumer goods industries experience rapid growth only to be quickly replaced by new technologies or innovations. However, alcoholic beverage manufacturers will maintain stability as long as alcohol consumption remains engrained in cultures across the world. Nevertheless, this built-in stability also presents challenges for the industry’s leading manufacturers.

Many beverage producers experience occasional surges in popularity resulting from various trends, such as the emergence of light beer in the late 1970s, martini and cocktail culture in the 1990s and the recent craft beer boom of the 2000s. Historically, however, alcoholic beverage producers have exhibited sluggish growth.

This is primarily due to unchanging alcohol consumption patterns, particularly in the United States. IBISWorld estimates that per capita expenditure on alcohol in the United States will increase at an annualized rate of 0.9% in the five years to 2016. Conversely, it is expected to contract at an annualized rate of 0.2% over the next five years. Because US consumers’ alcohol consumption patterns provide alcoholic beverage producers with little opportunity for organic growth, many companies have expanded across the globe through major mergers and acquisitions.

The Breweries industry was not a highly concentrated industry throughout the 20th century. St. Louis brewer Anheuser-Busch, Milwaukee’s Miller Brewing Company and New York breweries Ballantine and Rheingold only held significant market share in their respective regions of the United States, until waves of acquisitions ultimately consolidated these brands under the corporate umbrellas of national brewing companies. By the early 1980s, 92.0% of the industry’s production was generated by six major players, Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Heileman, Stroh, Coors and Pabst, thereby enabling the industry’s most dominant brewers to stretch production and distribution channels into previously untapped regions of the United States. Despite this rapid consolidation, industry leader Anheuser-Busch realized that minimal organic growth opportunities in the United States would create the need for overseas expansion. In 2008, Brazilian beer manufacturer InBev, a company based on a major merger between international beer giants Interbrew and AmBev, purchased Anheuser-Busch. Similar international deals continued throughout the United States and Europe, and in 2016, the Global Beer Manufacturing industry is currently dominated by four major breweries, which accounts for 73.8 per cent of all global production.

The recent popularity of craft beer in the United States placed even greater competitive pressure on large US beer manufacturers.

The Craft Beer Production industry has grown at an annualized rate of 17.8 per cent over the five years to 2016, compared with the larger Breweries industry, which is anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of 5.8 per cent over the same period.

In response to this uncharacteristically high growth in sales and surging popularity of alternative beer products, major brewers have pursued small regional breweries that once had been regarded as too insignificant to threaten the sales and profit margins of major beer manufacturers. In 2011, Anheuser-Busch InBev exhibited one of the first signs of Big Beer’s interest in craft breweries when it acquired Chicago-based brewer Goose Island for $38.8 million. Since then, some of the most successful niche craft brewers, including Blue Point Brewing, Elysian, Lagunitas and Ballast Point, have been scooped up into the brand portfolios of the world’s largest beer behemoths.


With the Global Beer Manufacturing industry expected to grow at an annualized rate of just 1.4 per cent over the five years to 2016, rapidly growing craft brewers are in high demand. According to The Wall Street Journal, Goose Island, at the time of its purchase in 2011, sold about 127,000 barrels of beer per year before its $38.8 million acquisition. San Diego craft brewer Ballast Point reported in 2014 that it produced a comparable 123,000 barrels of beer annually, yet it sold to international alcoholic beverage producer Constellation Brands for a staggering $1.0 billion in 2015. The explosive growth in valuations for popular craft brewers demonstrates the increasingly urgent need among major producers for new growth opportunities, as well as the small number of craft brewers willing to relinquish control of their operations. For major brewers unsatisfied with the limited availability of craft breweries that are willing to sell their operations, the next step has been global consolidation. In November 2015, Anheuser-BuschInBev and SABMiller, which respectively represent the largest and second-largest beer manufacturers in the world, announced plans for a projected $104.0 billion merger that would represent the biggest alcoholic beverage merger in history. Pending the approvals of various governmental antitrust bodies, IBISWorld estimates the combined company would generate 53.0 per cent of the Global Beer Manufacturing industry’s total revenue.

Massive craft beer valuations and international beer mergers represent the culmination of a global industry’s decades-long effort to expand despite minimal organic growth opportunities and the crowded landscape for alcoholic beverages.

Rather than compete for the slim profit margins that come from traditional premium and light beer brands, reducing competition has been the industry’s last hope to maintain strong growth. Over the five years to 2016, IBISWorld estimates that the average industry profit margin for the Breweries industry has fallen from 8.7 per cent to 6.9 per cent. The next logical step for international brewers to maintain growth is to acquire and expand beer production, distribution networks and the pre-existing brand portfolios of its competitors at a global scale. If the Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller merger prevails, odds are that 53.0 per cent of consumers’ next green St. Patrick’s Day beers will come from the same company.

Beer Piece


This article was posted on IBISWorld. See the original here.

Fonterra finalise sale of yoghurt business

Fonterra has finalised the sale of its Australian yoghurt and dairy desserts business to Parmalat Australia.

The company said in a statement that all conditions and regulatory requirements of the sale, which was announced in December last year, have been met.

The sale includes manufacturing sites at Tamar Valley and Echuca as well as its Australian yoghurt and dairy dessert brands.

The company said the sale is part of a comprehensive plan to return the Australian business to strong and sustainable profitability.

Announcing the sale in December, Chief Executive Theo Spierings said these changes were the result of driving a clear strategic plan to transform the Australian business to deliver stronger returns to farmer shareholders and unit holders.

Meat industry moves towards consolidation

Consolidation of the Australian meat industry is allowing companies to improve efficiency and bring the consumer closer to farmers.

Yesterday (7 July), Sanger Australia announced its merger with Bindaree beef, to form Bindaree Beef Group.

Graham Greenhalgh, CEO, Sanger Australia, says the move will bring the customers’ needs closer to the producer by removing one of the links in the chain.

Both Sanger and Bindaree have been separately selling meat from the McDonald family. “Separate share holdings, separate aspirations, separate everything and so by joining those two businesses together, we take out any issues between the objectives or visions of those two companies and we make sure we’re aligned,” Greenhalgh says.

“People are seeking and searching closer connections to the producer and have more interest in insuring the producer groups are prospering. People are becoming responsible in how they consume food and they want to ensure that the value that they’re paying for the food passes down to the farmer…so this [merger] is going to certainly help with that. We’ll have one set of objectives and we’ll be closely aligned and we think it will contribute to delivering better efficiency between the producer and the consumer.”

Over the past 20 or 30 years, the meat industry has become less fragmented, Greenhalgh says.

“The four biggest meat companies in Australia have massive financial strength, massive global positioning and I think that’s a real positive for the industry, it’s enabling investment into the industry and that investment is bringing efficiency.

“That consolidation of business allows people to invest more to drive more efficiency and to make that connection between the customer and the farmer closer and more responsive and that’s absolutely what we’re endeavouring to start doing.”


Sanger Australia announces merger with Bindaree Beef

Meat sales and marketing company, Sanger, announced an agreement with Bindaree Beef to merge into Bindaree Beef Group.

Sanger will continue to operate as an independent, stand-alone subsidiary of the new company.

“At Sanger we care about outcomes for rural Australia and its people. Since 1973 we have been sharing Australian meat with the world. We all live, breathe and love meat. Over the years we have grown and it is our passion for what we do that has led to our continuing success”, said long term Sanger shareholder, Graham Greenhalgh.

Sanger has expanded rapidly over the last 5 years. This financial year Sanger has marketed and sold $650m of meat, supplying 350 regular customers around the world and across all sectors of the food and hospitality industry. Sanger specialises in supplying branded beef grades such as Wagyu, Angus, marbled grain and grass fed beef, farm specific supply chain brands, veal, lamb and chicken.

Sanger is operated by seven partners all holding senior executive positions in the company with combined meat industry experience of 142 years. Sanger also focuses heavily on investing in young talent to deliver solutions for customers well into the future. Having grown from a team of 20 a few years ago, Sanger now has more than 60 meat sales, marketing and support specialists located in Sydney, Melbourne, Dublin, Dallas, Atlanta and Shanghai.

“During a period of recent consolidation within the meat industry, we saw the opportunity to partner with our major supplier, who supports our customers with about 55 per cent of their combined orders. The merger will also allow our livestock team to work more closely with the sales team to deliver better outcomes for our customers and producers”, said Bindaree Beef Director, John Newton.

The merger took effect on 6th July 2015 and was a non-cash transaction between the companies.


Kraft-Heinz merger complete

The merger between Kraft and Heinz has created the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world; The Kraft Heinz Company.

The Kraft Heinz Company has said its immediate focus is on integrating the two businesses and establishing a new organizational structure, while delivering its financial objectives for 2015.

The Heinz brand and business will remain headquartered in Pittsburgh and the Kraft brand and business will remain headquartered in the Chicago area.

Effective as of the close of trading today, July 2, 2015, Kraft Foods Group, Inc. common shares will cease trading on the NASDAQ. The Kraft Heinz Company common shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ under the trading symbol KHC on Monday, July 6, 2015.

On July 31, 2015, The Kraft Heinz Company will pay a cash dividend of $0.55 per share to all stockholders of record at the close of business on July 27, 2015. This dividend will be in lieu of the dividend declared on June 22, 2015, by Kraft to its shareholders of record as of July 27, 2015, the payment of which was conditional on the merger not having closed by that date.

As previously announced, The Kraft Heinz Company’s Board of Directors is comprised of the following 11 directors: Alex Behring (who will serve as Chairman of the Board), Gregory Abel, Tracy Britt Cool, Warren Buffett, John T. Cahill (who will serve as Vice Chairman of the Board), L. Kevin Cox, Jeanne P. Jackson, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Mackey J. McDonald, John C. Pope, and Marcel Telles.

Also as previously announced, Bernardo Hees is Chief Executive Officer of The Kraft Heinz Company. The rest of the Kraft Heinz Company senior leadership team was announced on June 29, 2015.

“I am honored and humbled to be the CEO of The Kraft Heinz Company,” said Mr. Hees. “Kraft and Heinz are both world-class organizations with storied pasts and together, an even brighter future.”