SHANGHAI Jan 14 China's Bright Food (Group) Co
Ltd said it had agreed to buy Australian dairy company Mundella
Foods through its Australian subsidiary, expanding the
state-owned conglomerate's overseas reach and boosting its
exposure to the growing dairy market.
Manassen Foods, the Australian company that Bright Food
bought in 2011, has signed an agreement to buy Western
Australia's Mundella, Bright Food spokesman Pan Jianjun said on
The terms of the deal have been decided but the transaction
value will be finalised once Mundella's 2013 financial results
are available, Pan said.
Interest in Australian dairy assets has grown due to surging
sales in Asia of both traditional products such as milk and
cheese and for high-tech nutraceuticals and probiotics.
A takeover battle for the country's oldest dairy producer,
Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co, has
been one of the most hotly contested in recent months, as
Canada's Saputo Inc attempts to outbid local dairy
companies Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd and Bega Cheese
Saputo's A$515 million offer is steadily gathering support
as Murray Goulburn's rival A$530 million bid awaits regulatory
Mundella representatives were not immediately available for
comment on the Bright Food deal.
Established as a family business in 1974, Mundella produces
soft cheese, yoghurt and probiotic yoghurt drinks. It began
exporting to Asia in 2010 and has a contract for sour cream with
Wesfarmers Ltd's Australian supermarket chain Coles.
Bright Food's overseas expansion has seen it buy Manassen,
which supplies food brands to Australian retailers, and New
Zealand's Synlait Milk Ltd. It is also in talks with
Tnuva, Israel's biggest food manufacturer and distributor.
Bright Food owns four mainland-listed companies including
Shanghai Jinfeng Wine Co, Shanghai Haibo Co
, Shanghai Maling Aquarius Co and Bright
Dairy & Food Co.