1 Nov - Suntory Beverage & Food (SBF) has entered into an agreement to sell its Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee business in Australia and New Zealand and its Asian Home Gourmet Singapore business to US giant The Kraft Heinz Company for a total of AU$290 million. Cerebos’s Food & Instant Coffee business includes iconic food brands in Australia and New Zealand such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro and Asian Home Gourmet. These cover a range of products including sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts and cooking ingredients.
However, SBF will retain its Cerebos Fresh Coffee business in Australia/New Zealand led by Terry Svenson, CEO of Cerebos Australia and New Zealand. The new business unit, called ‘Suntory Coffee’, will target the rapidly growing global fresh coffee market.
Although Svenson stated that the manufacturing efficiency of the Food & Instant Coffee business has significantly progressed in 2017, he explained the reasons behind the decision to sell it.
“Food & Instant Coffee is not a core focus category for SBF and we believe this business can be maximised under different ownership. The Food & Instant Coffee business will now have opportunities to leverage Kraft Heinz’s operations to grow the business further,” he said. “In the meantime, the transaction also enables our Fresh Coffee business to benefit from SBF’s continued investment and focus on its beverage portfolio, so we can capitalise on our market-leading positions to maximise growth opportunities.”
The acquisition of Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee marks Kraft Heinz’s aim to expand its already well-established platform in Australia and New Zealand. As the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, it possesses several well-known brands including Heinz, Kraft, Wattie’s, Eta and Golden Circle, which sell beans and spaghetti, sauces, soups and dressings.
Bruno Lino, CEO of Kraft Heinz Australia and New Zealand, said: “The transaction provides an exciting opportunity for Kraft Heinz to expand its portfolio into complementary categories, stretching the footprint of Cerebos’s brands into new categories and markets.
“In addition to the iconic local brands, Cerebos has a strong team that will play an important role in our future growth. This transaction reinforces our commitment and long-term plan to the Australia and New Zealand markets in addition to our significant investment in the Kraft brand for 2018. We will continue investing in our brands, factories and our employees to meet consumer needs and expectations,” he said.
The combined businesses will be led by Lino. The sale is expected to be completed in early 2018, subject to regulatory approval.
|A FoodProcessing release || November 1, 2017 |||