Universal Robina Corp., the Philippines-based food group, is to quit Oceania with the sale of its interest in a local venture with Germany’s Intersnack.

In December 2019, Universal Robina Corp. (URC) sold 40% of its Oceania business to Intersnack, leading the companies to form a venture called Unisnack ANZ.

URC’s presence in the region comprised assets acquired during the 2010s. In 2014, the company snapped up New Zealand biscuit group Griffin’s Foods from private-equity firm Pacific Equity Partners for NZD700m (then US$608.9m). Two years later, URC acquired Consolidated Snacks, the company behind Snack Brands Australia, for AUD600m (US$458m at that time).

The financial terms of Intersnack’s move to buy the rest of the Unisnack ANZ venture have not been disclosed. The brands moving to Intersnack’s full control include CC’s corn chips and Griffin’s biscuits.

According to URC, Unisnack ANZ generated sales of approximately AUD580m (US$426.6m) in 2020 through Griffin’s Foods and Snack Brands Australia.

URC did not provide any details on the venture’s growth in 2020. However, when the company published its group results for 2020, it said it had seen “growth” in Oceania, which had offset pressure on sales elsewhere in its business outside the Philippines.

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By GlobalData

Irwin Lee, URC’s president and CEO, said: “The acquisitions of Griffin’s Foods and Snack Brands Australia were URC’s biggest forays outside of Asia. Over the past seven years, we have invested in delivering significant operational improvements and value creation programmes. We are pleased to be handing full stewardship of these strong businesses to our partner Intersnack, while we continue to focus on other growth segments and geographies across developing markets.”

A spokesperson for URC confirmed the company “will not have any operating companies in Oceania after this transaction”, adding: “We will focus on the higher-growth Asian region, especially ASEAN.”

URC is one of the largest food and drinks companies in the Philippines, selling a range of snack products. Notable businesses outside its home market include its biscuits arm in Thailand and its beverage operations in Vietnam.

Intersnack executive chairman Maarten Leerdam said: “Unisnack ANZ, its competent management and great commercial performance, is an excellent strategic fit which will strengthen our market coverage in Oceania region and enrich our existing portfolio and innovation pipeline.”

Düsseldorf-based Intersnack generated a turnover of more than EUR2.9bn (US$3.45bn) in 2020.

Intersnack’s assets include UK snacks maker KP Snacks, home to brands including McCoy’s crisps and KP nuts. The company’s portfolio also includes French crisps brand Vico, Swedish brand Estrella and German brand Funny-Frisch. The business is also a supplier of private-label products.