Kerry buying General Mills units in Australia

by Eric Schroeder
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Ireland-based Kerry Group has agreed to acquire the Croissant King and van den Bergh’s frozen bakery businesses in Australia from General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis.

The purchase includes frozen dough and pastry products sold to professional bakers under the Croissant King and van den Bergh’s brands, as well as two plants located in Mansfield, Queensland, and Camellia, New South Wales. About 110 employees dedicated to the frozen bakery business will transfer to Kerry with the sale, effective Dec. 1.

“General Mills’ focus is on growing our key brands in retail,” said Markus Muehleisen, managing director of General Mills Australia. The “key” brands include Old El Paso Mexican food, Latina pastas and sauces, Betty Crocker baked goods, and Nature Valley muesli bars, which were introduced in Australia last April.

“While our bakery team has built a solid business of frozen pastries and dough products serving bakers for almost 20 year, Kerry’s scale and experience also positions it well to grow and advance the business in this category,” Mr. Muehleisen said. “General Mills will continue to focus on our retail channels.”

General Mills acquired van den Bergh’s in 1999 and Croissant King in 2005.

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