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Comment: Eyes on Saputo as Bega shows WCB hand

Two of the bidders for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory have this week made fresh offers for the Australian dairy. The focus now moves...


Katy Askew | 4 Nov 2013

The battle to acquire Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory has evolved into a complex series of tactical manoeuvres that could make Sun Tzu's The Art of War seem like light reading. Since the first takeover approach was announced, the tussle for WCB has seen industry majors Saputo, Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese competing for ownership of the Australian dairy. With the stakes high, it is clear that it is all still to play for. Katy Askew reports.


Dean Best | 23 Sep 2013

Competition among processors for milk supply in Australia, price pressure from retailers and Bega Cheese's desire for greater scale to compete internationally are the key reasons for its move for local peer Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.

Latest Interviews

Hannah Abdulla | 5 Mar 2015

In part two of the just-food interview, Bega Cheese CEO Aidan Coleman discusses why Asia and the Middle East are two key target markets for the Australian dairy group.


Hannah Abdulla | 26 Feb 2015

Bega Cheese has had a whirlwind couple of years. Seeking greater consolidation of the Australian dairy industry, it made a play for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter in 2013, kicking off a takeover battle, in which Canada's Saputo emerged the victor. In a two-part interview, just-food catches up with Bega CEO Aidan Coleman, to find out why it gave up on the takeover dream and whether it is eyeing any other opportunities.

Latest News

Helen Arnold | 23 Jun 2017

Bega Cheese has announced an institutional placement and share purchase plan to raise equity to enable the company to achieve its vision of becoming a "great Australian food company".


John Shepherd | 28 Feb 2017

The chairman of infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia, Rob Woolley, has resigned amidst a boardroom shake-up pushed through by the company's largest single shareholder, The Black Prince Private Foundation.


John Shepherd | 27 Feb 2017

US-based infant formula business Mead Johnson has agreed to acquire spray drying and finishing capabilities from Australian food group Bega Cheese to strengthen expansion plans for the Chinese market.


Dean Best | 22 Feb 2017

Bega Cheese, the Australia-based food group, today (21 February) reported a rise in half-year profits but sounded a note of caution on the second half of its financial year.


Katy Askew | 19 Jan 2017

Mondelez International has sold a clutch of its Australian and New Zealand grocery brands, including the spread business Vegemite, to Bega Cheese for AUD460m (US$346m).


John Shepherd | 22 Dec 2016

Infant formula producers A2 Milk Co. and Bega Cheese have sought to play down market concerns after infant formula peer Bellamy's Australia requested the trading halt on its shares be extended until it determines the impact talks with "key supplier/manufacturers" will have on its financial results. 


Dean Best | 17 Nov 2016

Bega Cheese, the Australia-based dairy group, has named COO Paul van Heerwaarden as its new CEO.


Katy Askew | 26 Oct 2016

Australian dairy group Bega Cheese has conceded its joint venture to produce infant and toddler formulas with Australian nutrition supplement maker Blackmores has failed to meet sales targets. 


Dean Best | 24 Aug 2016

Bega Cheese, the Australia-based dairy group, said today (24 August) CEO Aidan Coleman has decided to retire early next year.


John Shepherd | 24 Aug 2016

Australian dairy group Bega Cheese today (24 August) booked rising annual sales and profits despite a year of "market oversupply and strong competitor activity".


Dean Best | 1 Aug 2016

Murray Goulburn has lost contracts to supply cheese, UHT milk, adult milk powder and cream to Woolworths Ltd, Australia's largest grocer.


Dean Best | 12 Apr 2016

Shares in Australian food companies have taken a hit today (12 April) as the market reacted to new regulations in China on food imports.


Katy Askew | 24 Feb 2016

Bega Cheese, the Australian dairy group, has seen its earnings rise in the first half of its financial year thanks to efforts to control costs amid weak dairy commodity prices.


Hannah Abdulla | 30 Oct 2015

Bega Cheese, the Australian dairy group, and local nutrition and supplement manufacturer Blackmores are to form a venture to produce infant formula and nutritional foods.


Hannah Abdulla | 30 Oct 2015

Fonterra has confirmed the sale of its nine percent stake in Bega Cheese in a bid to focus its investments on more value add products.


Hannah Abdulla | 30 Oct 2015

This week the World Health Organization confirmed findings of a link between processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer - sparking fierce debate in and around the industry. Elsewhere, Snyder's-Lance agreed a deal to buy Kettle Chips owner Diamond Foods for US$1.91bn. And just-food interviewed Bonduelle CFO Gregory Sanson, who hinted at the firm's renewed ambitions for M&A. Here is the week in quotes.


Hannah Abdulla | 1 Sep 2015

Australian dairy firm Bega Cheese has reported a fall in full-year profits - in line with the profit warning it issued earlier this year - despite an increase in revenues.


Hannah Abdulla | 20 May 2015

Australia's Bega Cheese has issued a profit warning on the back of a "weaker recovery in global dairy commodity prices".


Dean Best | 6 Mar 2015

This week, the spotlight on the relationships between suppliers and retailers turned to Australia, where a new code of conduct is to be set up. Meanwhile, Spain's anti-trust watchdog fined 11 dairy companies over alleged price collusion. A series of M&A deals this week included Dr Oetker's move for European frozen cake maker Coppenrath & Wiese. And our latest management briefing analysed the opportunities for packaged food manufacturers in the US foodservice market.


Hannah Abdulla | 6 Mar 2015

A week of some small but notable M&A transactions included Hain Celestial's purchase of US fresh food group Empire Kosher Foods and the race for Egypt's Arab Dairy being won by investment fund Pioneers Holding. Elsewhere, our latest management briefing included a look at how packaged food groups in the US could tap into the country's food service channel.


Dean Best | 27 Feb 2015

France's competition watchdog this week confirmed an announcement on its three-year long probe into allegations of a price fixing in the country's yoghurt sector is imminent. Elsewhere, US companies affected by the dispute on West Coast ports said the backlog would take weeks to clear.


Hannah Abdulla | 27 Feb 2015

This week, Kerry Group CEO Stan McCarthy advised the market to expect a number of M&A deals from the Irish group in 2015. We caught up with the CEO of Australian dairy Bega Cheese, who talked about last year's much talked about takeover battle for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. Elsewhere, Podravka and Billy Sims China-Food Group advised of developments in China, and Mondelez International announced the closure of a plant in Ireland.


Hannah Abdulla | 18 Feb 2015

First-half profits at Australian dairy firm Bega Cheese have fallen on the back of higher milk costs and investment in supply.


Hannah Abdulla | 22 Sep 2014

Australian dairy firm Bega Cheese has secured a contract to supply Chinese retail group Chongqing General Trading Group with UHT milk.

Latest blogs

Dean Best | 18 Sep 2013

Australian dairy processor Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory has told investors to "take no action" on the A$319m takeover bid from local peer - and shareholder - Bega Cheese, while it reviews what it has already labelled an "opportunistic" offer.

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