New Zealanders know a few things about dairy. They hold a one-third world share in manufactured dairy products.
So it was no surprise when a New Zealand player, Fonterra, entered the multinational fight for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB).
Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, bought a six per cent stake in Bega Cheese limited which now has ACCC approval to acquire Warrnambool if it can win the multinational battle.
The move into Bega is more likely defensive, to protect the business is already does with Bega, but it also gives Fonterra an indirect stake in Warrnambool should Bega win the battle.
Chief executive Theo Spierings says there’s been a lot of consolidation in the Australian dairy industry. “It is important that Fonterra participates, and we have confidence in Bega and the strategy it is pursuing.”
The others on the battlefield are Canada’s Saputto and Japan’s Lion.