San Miguel acquires Australia's National Foods

Phillipine manufacturer San Miguel is on its way to becoming one of
the Asia-Pacific region's top ten food and beverage companies as it
secures majority control of National Foods, Australia's leading
dairy manufacturer, reports Claire Johnston.

San Miguel Corporation, with revenue of AUS$4.2 billion (US$3.2 billion) in 2004, launched its takeover bid for National Foods in December last year. After a five month takeover contest with New Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra, the company has managed to secure the backing of National Foods' board with what it called a 'knock-out'​ offer of AUS$6.40 (US$4.84) per share - valuing the company at around AUS$1.9 billion (US$1.44 billion).

Mr Ang, San Miguel President and CEO, said he was delighted to have achieved this important milestone and is encouraged by the progress of the takeover bid. "We look forward to completing this acquisition over the next few weeks"​, he said.

The approval for 76.34 per cent of National Foods was accepted by the 19.02 per cent relevant interest held by Fonterra Cooperative Group Limited. Despite this, however, only a quarter of National Foods' shareholders originally accepted the offer - 25.12 per cent according to recent figures - which closed on 27 May.

National Foods will join SMC's two other businesses in Australia, premium brewer J. Boag and Son, a wholly owned subsidiary, and leading fruit juice company Berri, in which San Miguel Corporation holds a majority stake.

SMC, already Southeast Asia's largest food, beverage and packaging company, has said previously that in order to achieve its ambition to become one of the Asia-Pacific region's top ten food and beverage companies, it must continue to pursue growth opportunities outside its problematic domestic market.

"National Foods is an excellent business, having consistently delivered strong earnings and growth in the internationally competitive Australian dairy sector. We consider Australia an important strategic operating base from which to expand into the Asia-Pacific region"​, said Mr Ang.

The addition of National Foods to the company's Australian businesses over the next few weeks will create a powerful food and beverage platform for San Miguel in the Australian and Asian markets.

Commenting on the change in ownership, National Foods' Managing Director Peter Margin said, "National Foods has always looked to expanding its markets beyond Australia and San Miguel Corporation's Asian operating and distributional presence will provide us with considerable benefits pursuing opportunities in Southeast Asia and China." "As well, its wealth of experience as a leader in a wide range of food and beverage products will be of significant advantage. On behalf of the company, we look forward to working alongside them in building our business"​ he said.

The purchase of National Foods will now account for around 21 per cent of SMC's annual turnover, leaving the food group as its biggest contributor.

San Miguel's offer for National Foods is unconditional. Accordingly, shareholders who accept the offer will be paid the offer consideration of AUS$6.40 (US$4.84) per share within 21 days after their acceptance is processed by San Miguel's share registry. The offer is currently scheduled to close on 10 June 2005 and the National Foods' board has unanimously recommended that National Foods shareholders accept San Miguel's offer now.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Unlock the business potential of the protein trend

Unlock the business potential of the protein trend

Content provided by Valio | 08-Feb-2024 | White Paper

Read our white paper to learn how to overcome taste and texture challenges in protein products — and how to commercialise the protein trend by making delicious...

Custom Microbiome Solutions for Dairy & Alt-Dairy Products

Custom Microbiome Solutions for Dairy & Alt-Dairy Products

Content provided by ADM: Innovation that Feeds the Future | 13-Oct-2023 | White Paper

Backed by clinical studies and perfect for use in dairy and alt-dairy applications alike, ADM’s Active Lifestyle probiotic blend, BPL1™ probiotic, and...

Consumers Want Dairy—and More!

Consumers Want Dairy—and More!

Content provided by ADM: Innovation that Feeds the Future | 06-Oct-2023 | White Paper

In the thriving dairy industry, you’re well aware of the surging demand for both dairy and non-dairy products.

Related suppliers