Mondelēz International, Inc. has reached an agreement to sell most of its grocery business in Australia and New Zealand to Bega Cheese Limited for $460 million AUD.
The transaction adds the iconic Vegemite brand and other well-established grocery brands to Bega’s portfolio. The move enables Mondelēz International to further focus its portfolio and drive profitable growth by investing in its core snacks categories and Power Brands, including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Oreo biscuits.
“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 Australia, New Zealand and Japan for Mondelēz International.
“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.”
Bega Cheese’s executive chairman, Mr Barry Irvin said he was ecstatic to be bringing together two companies with an Australian heritage spanning over 200 years. “We believe these iconic brands alongside the Bega Cheese brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great FMCG business.
“We feel privileged to be taking on the responsibility and guardianship of one of Australia’s most loved brands, Vegemite, and look forward to working with the people at 1 Vegemite Way in Port Melbourne to continue the legacy of this great company.”
Included in the sale are Mondelēz International owned brands – Vegemite, ZoOsh, Bonox– and other products that use the Kraft brand under license, such as peanut butter, nut spreads, processed cheese slices, ambient cheese spread, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, Kraft Easy Mac and Kraft Mac & Cheese. Bega will receive a license to the Dairylea brand for use in Australia and New Zealand. The Philadelphia business is not included in the deal as it is a Mondelēz International Power Brand.
The Port Melbourne manufacturing site will transfer to Bega as part of this agreement and approximately 200 colleagues who spend most of their time working on this part of the business will be offered roles on comparable terms with Bega. The transaction is expected to close in the coming months. Bega Cheese’s Australian Stock Exchange announcement is available on the ASX website.