Mondelez to sell Australian grocery business for $345 million

by Rebekah Schouten
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Vegemite
The sale includes such brands as Vegemite, ZoOsh, Bonox, and products using the Kraft brand under license.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Mondelez International, Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its $230 million Australian grocery business to Bega Cheese Ltd. for A$460 million (approximately $345 million). After the transaction, which is expected to close in the coming months, Mondelez’s grocery sales will be about $2.1 billion globally, according to Credit Suisse.

The sale includes such brands as Vegemite, ZoOsh, Bonox, and products using the Kraft brand under license, such as peanut butter, nut spread, processed cheese slices, cheese spread, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Kraft Easy Mac and Kraft Mac & Cheese. The Philadelphia cream cheese business is not included in the deal.

The transaction will enable Mondelez to focus its portfolio and invest in its core snacks categories and "Power Brands", including Cadbury Dairy Milk and Oreo, Mondelez said.

Amanda Banfield, Mondelez
Amanda Banfield, vice-president of Australia, New Zealand and Japan for Mondelez

“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. “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.”

Mondelez’s Port Melbourne manufacturing site will transfer to Bega as part of the transaction, and approximately 200 of the employees will be offered roles on comparable terms with Bega.

Barry Irvin, Bega Cheese
Barry Irvin, executive chairman of Bega Cheese

“We believe these iconic brands alongside the Bega Cheese brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great F.M.C.G. (fast-moving consumer goods) business,” said Barry Irvin, executive chairman of Bega Cheese. “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.”

Bega Cheese Ltd. is an Australian-based manufacturer of dairy ingredients and consumer products. The company employs over 1,700 across seven sites.
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