Kraft Heinz buys ANZ Cerebos assets for $A290 million

Kraft Heinz, which counts Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as its biggest shareholder, will spend A$290 million buying Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee and Asian Home Gourmet from Suntory Beverage & Food.

Japan's Suntory put the units on the block in April, saying it expected a deal to take six-to-nine months, and today the companies said they'd signed a deal which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will see Kraft Heinz take over Australian and New Zealand brands Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark's, Gregg's, Bistro's, Raro, and Asian Home Gourmet, they said in a joint statement.

"This transaction reinforces our commitment and long-term plan to the Australia and New Zealand markets in addition to our significant investment in the Kraft brand for 2018," Kraft Heinz Australia and New Zealand chief executive Bruno Lino said. "We will continue investing in our brands, factories and our employees to meet consumer needs and expectations."

Suntory's New Zealand subsidiary Cerebos Gregg's reported a net profit of $10.8 million on revenue of $157.8 million in calendar 2016, compared to a profit of $17.5 million with sales of $155 million. The unit paid a dividend of $10 million in 2016, up from $4.4 million a year earlier.

The Japanese group will retain the Cerebos Fresh Coffee unit and will continue to invest in that division, Cerebos Australia/New Zealand chief Terry Svenson said. In New Zealand, that covers Caffe L'affare, Atomic Roasters, Orb, and Robert Harris brands.

(BusinessDesk)