Japan's Kirin is selling Australian dairy business Lion

Darrian Traynor/ Getty Images

Japan brewer Kirin has announced the start of the sales process for its wholly-owned business, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Australia’s second largest dairy processor.

The company says a review found the best way forward is to sell the business rather than retaining and investing in it.

Lion, with brands, Masters, Pura, Dairy Farm, and Vitasoy, has sales of about $1.85 billion and is profitable following a restructure which closed plants and cut staff.

Kirin got the business about 10 years ago when it bought National Foods for $2.8 billion.

The sale doesn’t include Lion’s alcohol businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

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