Bega Cheese will pay $460 million in a deal that includes iconic brand Vegemite as well as other owned and licensed brands.
The Australian cheese manufacturer has reached an agreement to buy Mondelēz International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business (MDLZ Grocery Business) and with it some of Australia’s most iconic brands.
Apart from Vegemite, the sale includes Bonox and ZoOsh, and other products using the Kraft brand under licence for items such as peanut butter, nut spreads, processed cheese slices, ambient cheese spread, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, Kraft Easy Mac and Kraft Mac & Cheese. It also includes the Mondelēz site in Port Melbourne.
Bega will also receive a licence to the Dairylea brand for use in Australia and New Zealand, but the Philadelphia brand is not included in the deal.
The acquisition is said to be the next step in the Bega evolution towards becoming a great branded Australian food company.
Bega Cheese Executive Chairman Barry Irvin said the company had transformed itself from a dairy farmer cooperative into a major ASX-listed, billion-dollar business and was acquiring an iconic and culturally significant brand in Vegemite.
“The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting,” he said. “Bega is a company with humble origins and to be in a position to be able to take on a business of this scale and with brands including Vegemite is a testament to how far we have come.”
Mondelēz International Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Japan Amanda Banfield said: “It’s been an absolute honour and privilege to have nurtured brands such as Vegemite for the past 90 years, but as we further our focus on core snacking categories and global power brands, the time is right for these brands to take the next step in their journey. We’re pleased to have found a home for these talented people and grocery brands in a company that shares our passion for their future.”