August 26, 2008

Japan’s Kirin to Buy No. 2 Aussie Dairy Firm

Tokyo, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese beverage company Kirin Holdings Co. said Monday that Melbourne-based wholly owned subsidiary National Foods Ltd., Australia's biggest dairy company, will purchase second-ranking Sydney-based Dairy Farmers.

The deal is expected to be worth 884 million Australian dollars, Kirin said.

Dairy Farmers, officially known as Australian Co-operative Foods Ltd., is a cooperative in which some 2,000 Australian farmers are investors. Its sales totaled 1,175.65 million Australian dollars in the fiscal year through June 2007.

Another Australian dairy cooperative, Murray Goulburn Co- Operative Co., and major Canadian dairy company Saputo Inc. were also bidding for Dairy Farmers, which put itself up for sale in February this year.

Kirin, which acquired National Foods in December 2007 for 2.8 billion Australian dollars, hopes that the takeover of Dairy Farms will bring synergies for Kirin group operations in the Asia-Oceania region.

In Australia, Kirin also controls Lion Nathan Ltd., the nation's No. 2 beer maker.END

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