By Ian Neubauer
“We are keeping Dairy Farmers in mind,” Kirin President Kazuyasu Kato told the Bloomberg news service. “A partner that will allow us to efficiently take part in Australia’s dairy industry as it reorganises, and take advantage of economies of scale, is a very important strategy for growth.”
Kato said the proposed purchase of Australia’s second largest milk processor would build on Kirin’s business in Australia. The Japanese company acquired National Foods — Australia’s number one dairy and juice maker — in November last year and owns 46 per cent of brewer Lion Nathan.
Other companies reported to be interested in Dairy Farmers include Groupe Danone SA of France, Parmalat SpA of Italy, the Fonterra Cooperative Group of New Zealand and Australia’s own Coca-Cola Amatil.
Dairy Farmers said it would make a recommendation to its shareholders on whether to pursue a trade sale after reviewing all available options.