Mondelez to sell Australia, New Zealand grocery business to Bega Cheese for A$460 mn

Mondelez International Inc yesterday struck a deal to sell most of its grocery business in Australia and New Zealand, including the popular Vegemite food spread brand, to Bega Cheese Ltd for A$460 million ($345 million).

Mondelez, based in Illinois, said that the transaction will allow it to further focus its portfolio and drive profitable growth by investing in its core snacks categories and Power Brands, including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Oreo biscuits.

Included in the sale are Mondelez owned brands - Vegemite, ZoOsh, Bonox - and other products that use the Kraft brand under license, such as peanut butter, nut spreads, processed cheese slices, ambient cheese spread, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, KraftEasy Mac and Kraft Mac & Cheese. 

Sydney-listed dairy producer Bega will receive a license to the Dairylea brand for use in Australia and New Zealand.

The Port Melbourne manufacturing site will be transferred to Bega as part of this agreement and approximately 200 employees will be be absorbed on comparable terms with Bega.

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months.

"We're extremely proud of our history as the custodian of the VEGEMITE brand for over 90 years, transforming it from its local roots into a global icon that's synonymous with Australia," said Amanda Banfield, vice president Australia, New Zealand and Japan for Mondelez.

Bega Cheese's executive chairman, Barry Irvin said that he was ecstatic to be bringing together two companies with an Australian heritage spanning over 200 years. "We believe these iconic brands alongside the Bega Cheese brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great FMCG business.