Gokongwei firm sells 40% stake in Oceania business in bid to access European market
Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corp. (URC) is selling a 40 percent stake in its consolidated business in Australia and New Zealand to German-based snack food maker Intersnack Group, unlocking values from this overseas business while potentially gaining access to the European market.
Through its wholly owned BVI subsidiary URC Oceania Company Ltd., URC announced on Monday a strategic partnership with Intersnack to boost operations in the Oceania snack food market. In exchange for the 40 percent stake in URC Oceania, URC will receive a mix of cash and shares of Yarra Valley Snack Foods Pty. Ltd, Intersnack’s natural snack food unit in Australia.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of URC and Intersnack.
“Leveraging on URC and Intersnack’s knowhow from their respective markets will yield best practices in manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability practices, setting the groundwork for an even larger and more efficient Oceania operations,” URC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday (July 8).
“.Through this transaction, URC monetizes some of the synergies it has generated from its early investments in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), while still retaining control and its ability to further create value within and beyond ANZ,” the disclosure said.
The transaction would be considered a done deal after approvals were secured from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.
Intersnack has operations in 24 countries. The European company has built an extensive product portfolio of savory snacks including potato and tortilla chips, puffed and other corn snacks, baked products, popcorn and nuts, and currently ranks first or second in terms of market share.
Intersnack currently generates some P158.6 billion in net sales across Europe. In Australia, its presence is limited to Yarra Valley, a market leader in snacks for the health conscious.
URC’s businesses in Oceania included Snack Brands Australia (SBA), one of Australia’s leading snack food companies and Griffin, New Zealand’s leading biscuits company with a 150-year baking heritage. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)
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