Blog: Dean BestKirin looks to milk overseas growth

Dean Best | 26 August 2008

The reputation of Kirin Holdings as one of Asia-Pacific's more dynamic food and beverage companies has been enhanced further after it moved a step nearer buying Australia's Dairy Farmers.

Kirin's local unit, National Foods, has agreed a deal with Dairy Farmers following a protracted takeover battle that, at different times, included rival interest from the likes of Fonterra and Parmalat.

The A$910m (US$774m) deal remains subject to approval from Dairy Farmers' farmer-shareholders and chief executive Rob Gordon was keen to point out the benefits that the deal will bring to the co-operative's members.

"The proposal will allow shareholders to reap the rewards of significant sector rationalisation. In turn, this will lead to a stronger and more vibrant dairy industry - one that provides ongoing benefits for suppliers," Gordon said.

For Kirin, the deal would give it yet more exposure overseas as it battles a stagnant domestic market, particularly in beer. Two years ago, Kirin said it wanted to see a "quantum leap" from its business by 2015, with increasing emphasis being placed on expanding its overseas operations. Last year, the company snapped up National Foods and now, with a deal in sight over Dairy Farmers, Kirin looks set to milk the Australian market once again.


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