Wednesday 25th June 2008
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The purchase will add balance to Fonterra's Australian operations by giving it a national yoghurt and dairy dessert operation to add to its Bega, Mainland and Western Star brands, Fonterra said in a statement.
The SKI brand is currently held under license to Dairy Farmers and will revert back to Nestle and be licensed to Fonterra in 2012.
In May Fonterra sought Australian antitrust clearance to buy Dairy Farmers, that nation's second-biggest supplier of fresh milk. It is up against Kirin Holdings, the Japanese brewer and the Nestle deal may give Fonterra an edge with control of the brand. Dairy Farmers also makes Coon brand cheese.
The acquisition "provides us with a national position and complements our existing portfolio," Fonterra executive John Doumani said in the statement. It creates "a new competitive presence in the chilled dairy sector."
Fonterra is the world's largest single exporter of dairy products.
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