Australia-based food manufacturer Goodman Fielder is looking to acquire the rights to the Yoplait brand in New Zealand.

Goodman Fielder, home to Meadow Fresh and Chesdale cheese, is seeking clearance from New Zealand’s competition watchdog to buy the rights to the business from another Australia-headquartered dairy group Lion.

France-based yogurt products manufacturer Yoplait is owned by US food giant General Mills and French dairy business Sodiaal.

Lion, owned by Japan’s Kirin Holdings, has a licence to use the Yoplait brand in New Zealand.

As well as acquiring manufacturing and distribution assets from Lion, Goodman Fielder, itself owned by Singapore-based Wilmar International and Hong Kong investment fund First Pacific, intends to obtain a licence to be the exclusive supplier of Yoplait yoghurt in New Zealand.

In 2011, General Mills bought a 51% stake in Yoplait for EUR810m (then US$1.15bn), as well as a 50% stake in a related entity that holds the worldwide rights to the Yoplait brand. Sodiaal, which founded Yoplait, holds the remaining interest in both.

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