The field has thinned out in the race to buy Lion Drinks and Dairy

The field has thinned out in the race to buy Lion Drinks and Dairy

Australia's Freedom Foods Group is the latest company to rule itself out from making a bid for Kirin's locally-based food and beverage unit Lion Drinks and Dairy (LDD).

It comes just a week after fellow Australian business Coca-Cola Amatil shut down speculation linking it with making a bid for the up-for-sale unit.

In a statement issued today (25 March), Sydney-listed Freedom Foods - best known for making breakfast cereals and snacks - said it "notes recent market commentary and speculation regarding the company's potential involvement in an acquisition of the Lion Dairy and Drinks Portfolio (LDD), which is the subject of a sale process by Kirin Holdings Company Limited".

It added: "Freedom Foods is not pursuing a bid for the LDD Portfolio as part of any current sale process. 

"As previously stated at Freedom Foods half-year results presentations in February 2019, the company remains focused on delivering on its unique capabilities and opportunities across dairy beverages and nutritionals, plant-based beverages and speciality cereals and snacks."

Its statement echoes the Coca-Cola Amatil announcement of 18 March in which it said: "Coca-Cola Amatil is not pursuing a bid for the LDD portfolio.

"As previously stated at Coca-Cola Amatil's full-year results presentation in February 2019, the company is comfortable with, and remains focused on, its current... portfolio of beverages."

The LDD portfolio includes brands such as Pura milk, Dare iced-coffee and South Cape cheese. It also handles Vitasoy plant-based milks in Australia. 

Japan's Kirin Holdings confirmed it planned to sell the dairy division of Lion in October, following a strategic review a month earlier.

A number of dairy heavyweights, including Canada's Saputo and China's Yili, have also been linked with making a bid for the assets.

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Dairy in Australia

Dairy in Australia

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