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January 19, 2017
2 Min Read
Mondelez International is divesting from Vegemite and other grocery brands sold in Australia and New Zealand. Image courtesy of Flickr user Gordon Wrigley
Ownership of Vegemite will return to Australian ownership after nearly a century with the $450 million AUD sale of most of Mondelez International Inc.’s grocery business in Australia and New Zealand to Baga Cheese Ltd., the East Hanover, NJ company announced Wednesday.
The divestment enables the food company to focus on investments in the firm’s core snacks categories and “power brands” like Oreo cookies and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, a press release announcing the pending sale said.
“We’re extremely proud of our history as the custodian of the Vegemite brand for over 90 years, transforming it from its local roots into a global icon that’s synonymous with Australia,” said Amanda Banfield, vice president of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan for Mondelez, in a statement. “It’s been a privilege stewarding this brand, which is found in almost every Australian household and is part of the fabric of the nation. As we continue to execute our strategic growth plan, with a keen focus on core snacks categories and global power brands, we’re excited to see Vegemite and these much-loved brands continue to grow and thrive under Bega’s ownership.”
The sale includes the Mondelez-owned brands Vegemite, ZoOsh, Bonox, and a number of other Kraft brand products sold under license from peanut butter to parmesan cheese. The American food company will retain the Philadelphia brand in Australia and New Zealand while licensing out the Dairlea brand for use in the countries.
Ownership of a manufacturing site in Port Melbourne will move to Bega Cheese, with 200 employers slated to be “offered roles on comparable terms.”
“We believe these iconic brands alongside the Bega Cheese brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great FMCG business,” said the Australian company’s chief executive officer Barry Irvin in the Mondelez release.
The transaction is expected to close within several months, the firms said.
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