Moxey Farms to be acquired by AFMH

One of Australia’s largest single-site dairy operations, Moxey Farms, will be acquired by The Australian Fresh Milk Holdings.

The Australian Fresh Milk Holdings comprises of Leppington Pastoral Company, New Hope Dairy Holdings and Freedom Foods Group. The consortium, together with Moxey Farms, has executed binding agreements for the acquisition.

Under the terms of the acquisition, the Moxey family will continue to operate Moxey Farms in a joint venture with the Perich family under a new Farm Management Agreement with AFMH. The moxey family will acquire a strategic stake in AFMH, which will have assets and operations across every aspect of the dairy value chain.

Moxey Farms operates a fully integrated dairy farming operation in the Lachlan Valley, NSW, with 3,700 milking cows which product approximately 50 million litres of milk per year, with a large proportion of this milk from a2 cows.

Following the completion of the acquisition, AFMG would have in place a scalable operating platform to invest in additional greenfield dairy sites.

The arrangement will provide Freedom Foods with access to the dairy management team of the Moxey and Perich families, while AFMH will be able to leverage Freedom Foods’ processing capabilities and New Hope Dairy’s Asian footprint to readily access export markets such as China and South East Asia.

Upon completion, Freedom Foods will hold a 10 per cent equity position in AFMH, with the balance held by Leppington Pastoral, Moxey Family and New Hope Dairy.


Tassal nets De Costi Seafoods hook, line and sinker

As of today (1 July), Tassal has consolidated its supply chain by its acquisition of De Costi Seafoods.

Tassal will pay $50 million upfront and in cash on completion of the acquisition and a share option, capped at 10 million shares, which will be paid over the next three years.

The acquisition will allow Tassal to control its supply chain from the fish farms, right through to retail.

De Costi Seafoods is one of the largest in Australia’s seafood industry, and Tassal’s chairman, Allan McCallum said its central location enables it to service retailers down the East Coast of Australia and South Australia.

“The De Costi Seafoods business is extremely complementary to Tassal and consistent with our Salmon and Seafood strategy,” McCallum said.

“Following completion of this acquisition, Tassal will be very well placed to access and grow Australia’s $4.3 billion annual seafood market, and support significant market growth in seafood for retailers down the East Coast of Australia and South Australia.”

Last year, Tassal completed its $200 million five year investment program to improve hatching, growing and processing infrastructure. With the benefits of the investment flowing through, Tassal has been able to remove its reliance on the export market.

Tassal’s Managing Director and CEO, Mark Ryan said “the proposed acquisition of De Costi Seafoods will further build on our domestic salmon capabilities, increase Tassal’s vertical integration in salmon, drive increased scale and provide Tassal with access to the broader seafood market. This increased scale will drive further efficiencies and benefits to both Tassal’s salmon offering as well as seafood, and uniquely position Tassal for its next phase of growth.”

While completion is yet to occur, the agreement has been structured in a way to allow Tassal to acquire the business and obtain the benefits of its earnings from today, 1 July 2015, and for George De Costi to obtain the benefits of the earn-out (share) component from 1 July 2015.

The business will be run from Tassal today, whilst progressing towards satisfaction of certain conditions, including: no material adverse changes occurring in respect to the business, George De Costi entering into an employment agreement for at least three years from the completion of the acquisition and the completion of the agreed restructure of De Costi Seafoods.


Duo behind a2 Milk Company bid revealed

The a2 Milk Company has revealed Dean Foods Company and Freedom Foods Limited are behind an expression of interest.

The announcement follows a request from the ASX to reveal the identity of the parties in response to media speculation.

On Monday, the a2 Milk Company announced it received an expression of interest to acquire all shares of the company, but said the two parties who submitted the expression of interest had requested confidentiality, and stated that their expression of interest may be withdrawn if it ceases to be confidential.

On Tuesday, Freedom Foods stepped forward to announce it was one of the two parties.

The expression of interest is indicative, conditional and non-binding. The Board is currently seeking more information in order to evaluate the proposal.

Dean Foods is an American food and beverage company, producing a full line of dairy and soy products. The Company is one of the United States’ largest processors and direct-to-store distributors of fluid milk marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels.


Beston Global Food Company to buy ADP protein plant

Probiotec has entered into a conditional binding agreement with Beston Global Food Company (BGFC) for the proposed sale of its ADP protein plant in Jervois, South Australia.

The proposed $7 million sale is to be paid in cash, subject to the completion of due diligence by BGFC and the majority of the money would be received on completion.

The agreement contains provisions for Probiotic to obtain ongoing supply of immunoglobulins produced by the plant.

If successful, the directors expect the transaction to be completed by 30 September, 2015.

Last week, BGFC came to the rescue of Murray Bridge milk processor United Dairy Power, by contracting to buy it out of receivership with the goal of supplying its South Australian milk products to Asia.

BGFC – headed by Adelaide businessman Roger Sexton, has, over a period of three years, built up its investments with the view of taking premium clean, green Australian food and beverage products into global markets, particularly China and Asia.


Freedom Foods one of two parties in a bid for a2 Milk

Freedom Foods has revealed is one of the two parties involved in an expression of interest to acquire all of the a2 Milk Company’s shares.

Yesterday, the a2 Milk Company (a2MC) announced it had received an expression of interest from two associated trade parties.

A2MC said the two associated trade parties who submitted the expression of interest requested confidentiality, and stated that their expression of interest may be withdrawn if it ceases to be confidential.

But Freedom Foods has made the announcement on the ASX, noting that the process is ongoing and there is no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming.

The announcement did not name the other party, but said it was a “leading International liquid dairy milk Company” and that the two had “provided an indicative, non-binding and conditional expression of interest to a2M with a view to undertaking due diligence to enable the consortium to determine whether to enter into a binding proposal.”

Freedom Foods is a significant shareholder in a2MC, with a long history and strong commercial ties to the company, including through its largest shareholder, the Perich Group.


a2 Milk Company receives an expression of interest

The a2 Milk Company has received an expression of interest to acquire all shares of the company.

The proposal is subject to a number of conditions including access to due diligence, exclusivity, no material change in the affairs or prospects of the a2 Milk Company (a2MC), various approvals including under the New Zealand Overseas Investment Act and no change in the number of shares on issue.

The last condition will put a stop to the a2MC’s plan for an equity raising, which was in advanced stages.

The two associated trade parties who submitted the expression of interest have requested confidentiality, and stated that their expression of interest may be withdrawn if it ceases to be confidential.

There is no certainty of a takeover or any transaction and the board will seek further information and evaluate the proposal.


ACCC will review Coles’ proposed acquisition of Supabarn

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will shortly commence a public review of Coles’ proposed acquisition of Supabarn supermarkets.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: "Given Supabarn’s position as a significant independent supermarket chain, an important focus of the ACCC’s review will be whether its removal as a competitor would substantially lessen competition between supermarket chains. The review will also examine each of the individual local markets in which the Supabarn stores operate, and any effect on grocery wholesaling and supply markets".

“The legal test which the ACCC will apply in considering the proposed acquisition is in Section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act (2010). Section 50 prohibits acquisitions that substantially lessen competition in a market, or are likely to do so.”

“The main indicator of a substantial lessening of competition is whether the acquisition would enable firms in the market to raise prices or reduce product quality (including service and choice) or innovation following the acquisition. Section 50 does not allow the ACCC to consider factors other than those related to competition. In particular, the ACCC cannot oppose a proposed acquisition because of its potential to impact on the character of a local area,” Mr Sims said.

As part of its review, the ACCC will invite submissions from consumers, suppliers, supermarket operators and other interested parties.

The ACCC will commence its review this week and will be accepting public submissions until mid-July.


Gravire Packaging buys Australian Packaging

Wellington-based Gravure Packaging (GPL), has purchased Sydney-based Australian Packaging as part of a strategy to expand its business on both sides of the Tasman.

GPL Managing Director Greg Chapman says the flexographic printing, solventless lamination and perforation processes offered by Australian Packaging will provide a positive complement to his firm and deliver a proven customer base.

“Australian Packaging predominantly produces for the food and FMCG markets, as well as for domestic and international airlines,” Chapman said.

“One of their strongest portfolios is pie wrapping and they make a lot of high-quality laminates for what we call ‘rewind packaging’ for the snack food sector. Their customer base is Australia-wide and stretches into New Caledonia and Fiji, with one of the most recognised brands being Mrs Mac’s.

“The acquisition will provide an opportunity to cross-sell on both sides of the Tasman and it also opens up a new technology for each company.”

Chapman said there are numerous similarities between the two businesses including size, both having been in existence for about 30 years and each coming from a family-owned background.

“The complementary product lines will add a real strength to our overall capabilities.

“We will be retaining the existing staff in Australia and will mirror what we have recently established here in our managerial structure. Peter Barnes will fulfill the role of Production Manager with Vivienne Tasker being the Commercial Manager and my time will be split between the two companies.

“APL’s two Directors — Ray Cranfield and Dianne Anderson — will be retained for a period of at least 12 months to ensure a smooth transition in all areas of the business. Once we have bedded in the acquisition, then we can examine the interaction between the two companies from an administrative point of view to see what additional alignments and synergies we can achieve.”

With the Australian enterprise to continue operating under its current trading name, Chapman also moved to provide assurances for the immediate future.

“The previous owners of the business had wanted to retire and, having been approached by a broker on their behalf, we were invited ahead of three other parties to enter the due diligence process.

“I guess our approach is most closely aligned to their hearts. It is what you would call a ‘responsible sale’ — one where they wanted the future of the business to be secured and the long-term relationships with employees, customers and suppliers maintained.

“Those relationships are of paramount importance to both the new and previous owners of Australian Packaging.”

Chapman said GPL has been eyeing up potential acquisition targets both domestically and abroad for some time.

GPL is planning further capital investment at its Petone plant which has in part been driven by a new product line that has been developed with a key customer.


Beston Global Food Company to buy United Dairy Power

Adelaide-based Beston Global Food Company (BGFC) has come to the rescue of Murray Bridge milk processor United Dairy Power, by contracting to buy it out of receivership with the goal of supplying its South Australian milk products to Asia.

BGFC – headed by Adelaide businessman Roger Sexton, has, over a period of three years, built up its investments with the view of taking premium clean, green Australian food and beverage products into global markets, particularly China and Asia.

“A key objective when we established BGFC was to take healthy eating to the world’s growing communities with Australia’s best foods,” Sexton said.

“Our business model is an integrated closed loop supply chain whereby we own the raw materials, take advantage of advanced know-how and technology in the production process and control the marketing and distribution of the end products through Company owned subsidiaries in key global locations.”

“Being able to purchase and revitalise United Dairy Power is a win-win. BGFC has secured additional dairy resources to feed its growing overseas markets. We make an even greater contribution to realising the State’s food export vision, and through our investment we are adding value to a regional economy and keeping local jobs and ownership.”

United Dairy Power, with plants which employed about 130 staff and contractors in Murray Bridge and Jervois in South Australia, was placed in receivership in late April. At the time, it was estimated that the region could lose about $170 million in net wealth as a result of the closures.

The facilities at UDP have been involved in the production of cheese and other milk products for over 40 years but had been operating at only around 30 per cent capacity at the time of the receivership.

 “Our company will invest considerable capital into UDP to upgrade its facilities at Murray Bridge and Jervois, increase the production capacities of the two plants and introduce new products for distribution into China and the ASEAN region by BGFC subsidiaries based in Thailand, Vietnam, China and Brunei,” Sexton said.

Under the ownership of BGFC, the name of UDP will be changed to Beston Pure Foods.


Tassal to acquire De Costi Seafoods

Tassal has responded to speculation and confirmed an acquisition of De Costi Seafoods is in the works.

Although an acquisition has not been formally finalised or completed, Tassal said the due diligence process on De Costi Seafoods has been completed and the tassal Board has approved for the proposed acquisition to proceed to formal documentation. The acquisition is expected to be completed in July 2015.

A non-binding Terms Sheet has been signed by the parties, with a few key terms.

The business will be acquired via a share purchase, free from all debt and other encumbrances and the sale will not include the business trading at the Sydney Fish Markets or the two retail outlets owned by Georfe Costi at Bondi and Chatswood.

Following the acquisition, George Costi will remain at the helm of De Costi Seafoods’ operations for a minimum period of three years and will report to Mark Ryan, Tassal Group Limited Managing Director and CEO.

Ryan said the move to acquire De Costi Seafoods was strategic.

“De Costi Seafoods provides Tassal with an attractive vehicle to deliver the company’s salmon and seafood growth strategy, which is about maximising domestic market per capita consumption of seafood. The seafood market in Australia is assessed at $4.3 billion per annum

“This acquisition would allow us to build on Tassal’s successful domestic market focus with salmon, increase Tassal’s vertical integration into salmon, and further drive scale, and the efficiencies and benefits that will flow from the increased scale that the seafood offering will bring,” Ryan said.


Freedom Foods Group acquires Ingleburn site

Freedom Foods has acquired land for a proposed new integrated Aseptic (UHT) production and logistics facility in south west Sydney.

The company has acquired approximately 66,000 sq. metres of land at Ingleburn for $16.6 million (excluding stamp duty).

The new facility will significantly expand capacity and improve on efficiency, when compared to current operations.

The company has been granted local council approval for the proposed development, with construction on a first stage warehouse facility expected to commence in July 2015, with construction of the adjacent processing and filling facility commencing later in the first half of FY 2016.

The acquisition was funded through finance facilities and other assets, with long term financing secured at a funding rate of less than five percent.


Plasdene Glass-Pak acquires Silverlock Packaging

Plasdene Glass-Pak, a privately-owned, supplier of glass and plastic bottles, jars, containers and closures has announced the acquisition of West Australian-based Silverlock Packaging.

The merged entity will increase the size of Plasdene Glass-Pak by more than fifty percent and expand the company’s geographic coverage, product offering and team of packaging-solution salesforce.

The acquisition of independently-owned Silverlock packaging will greatly enhance the size and performance of Plasdene Glass-Pak in South Australia and Western Australian markets. In addition to complementary product type portfolios, markets served and capabilities, both are family businesses with similar cultures and service-focused enterprise philosophies.

Plasdene and Silverlock also both provide contractual distribution for glass manufacturer O-I and plastic packaging PACT Group companies, amongst others.

Already supplying hundreds of millions of glass and plastic bottles, jars, containers and closures annually, a merged entity will further enhance the buying power and supply chain capability of Plasdene Glass-Pak.

“Whilst we’ve had a distribution centre in Perth for more than ten years (and Adelaide even longer), it has certainly been challenging to penetrate and grow the business in these regions to the proportions expected, such is the strength of the well-established market presence of Silverlock and others. We are delighted we now have the means to merge these two wholly-Australian family businesses, and grow together”, said Ken Pearson, Managing Director, Plasdene Glass-Pak.

“With similar business models, many of the same or complementary manufacturers, clients and product range, as well as a like-minded approach to personal service, this strategic purchase makes sense,” Pearson said.

“We are delighted to take on this new challenge, and our team are working hard to provide a seamless transition,” says Pearson.

Plasdene Glass-Pak’s last acquisition was in May 2011, when the company purchased NSW-based wine bottle distribution business J.McCarthy.


Goodman Fielder board exits following takeover

The Scheme of Arrangement under which Wilmar International Limited and First Pacific Company Limited will acquire 100 percent of Goodman Fielder has been implemented.

Wilmar and First Pacific, through 50:50 jointly owned entities, now hold all of the shares in Goodman Fielder. Eligible Goodman Fielder shareholders who held shares on the Scheme Record Date (10 March 2015) will be sent the Scheme Consideration of A$0.675 cash per share today (or as soon as practicable thereafter).

The resignation of Steven Gregg, Chris Delaney, Ian Cornell, Jan Dawson, Chris Froggatt, Peter Hearl, Clive Hooke and Ian Johnston from the Board of Goodman Fielder took effect from implementation.

Robin Nicholson, Kuok Khoon Hong, Scott Weitemeyer, and Graham Pickles have been appointed to the Board of Goodman Fielder with effect from implementation. Nicholson has been appointed Chairman.

“This final step in the process completes First Pacific and Wilmar’s acquisition of Goodman Fielder and we look forward to working with the business to implement our transition plans and growth agenda,” Nicholson said.

“As part of this we would like to announce that Scott Weitemeyer will be appointed managing director and chief executive officer of Goodman Fielder, replacing Chris Delaney.

“Scott will work with the dedicated team at Goodman Fielder to begin building a leading Asia Pacific consumer foods business,” Nicholson said.

Goodman Fielder expects to be delisted from the ASX and NZX on Thursday, 19 March 2015.

The takeover was approved by shareholders in February.

Goodman Fielder owns brands such as Helga’s, Mighty Soft, White Wings, Praise and MeadowLea.


95 made redundant at Betta Foods following sale

Betta Foods’ staff have been made redundant after the company’s administrators, Cor Cordis, entered into a sale of asset agreement with Prydes Confectionery Holdings Pty Ltd (Prydes).

The sale includes plant and equipment assets, intellectual property, business names, stock, and rights of vendor under contracts with customers.

Managing Partner Bruno Secatore said remaining staff at Betta Foods would be made redundant, but would have the prospect of being employed by Prydes in the near future.

“Prydes will begin operating the business later this month under a new structure.”

“We have been in regular contact with the relevant unions. Obviously these manufacturing facilities require trained workers to operate and we understand Prydes will be interviewing the Betta Foods staff next week to see who they may employ going forward” he said.

The remaining staff, comprising 13 administrative and 82 manufacturing staff (57 of who are full time and 25 casual), have been informed and will be made redundant on Thursday and Friday.

Secatore said that staff entitlements are protected under law and through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme.

The sale is due to settle this Friday 13 March 2015.

Prydes is a NSW based confectioner and has been in operation since 2009 and owned by Jose and Daniel Sanchez. The Betta Foods purchase is their fourth acquisition in five years.

Betta Foods is a Melbourne based confectionary manufacturer of liquorice under the Capricorn brand, ice cream cones, marshmallows and jellies.

Bruno Secatore, Daniel Juratowitch and Glenn Spooner of Chartered Accounting firm Cor Cordis were appointed Voluntary Administrators of Betta Foods (Operations) Pty Ltd on January 20.


WCB to acquire Lion cheese business

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Everyday Cheese Business (EDC Business) of Lion-Dairy & Drinks (Lion) based in Victoria, Australia.

EDC Business was bought for $137.5 million, and includes $106.5 million of inventory. The is expected to close towards the beginning of May 2015.

The transaction is subject to WCB shareholder approval, but Saputo, which holds 87.92 percent of WBC’s shares has already indicated its support of the transaction and said it will vote in favour of the transaction.

Lion holds 10.22 percent of the shares in WCB. The Directors of WCB intend to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.

WCB plans to hold a shareholder meeting to be held in late April or early May to consider the transaction.

The EDC Business' operations include cutting and wrapping, distribution, sales & marketing and intellectual property associated with the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. The business generates annual sales of approximately $160 million and employs approximately 170 people. The cut and wrap operations of the EDC Business are located in a building owned by WCB which is adjacent to WCB's cheese manufacturing facility at Allansford.

The transaction will enable WCB to increase its presence in consumer branded everyday cheese products segment in Australia.


Dairy Bell scooped up by Bon Appetit

Melbourne ice-cream maker Dairy Bell, who was set to close its two factories today, has been saved by gelato, ice cream and frozen desserts company Bon Appetit.

Dairy Bell will instead open a new store near its old East Malvern manufacturing plant, Fairfax media reports.

Bon Appetit Australia has paid an undisclosed sum for the Dairy Bell brands, recipes and five Melbourne shops.

Dairy Bell products will be manufactured by Bon Appetit in Reservoir, recipes unchanged, and sold to IGA and independent supermarkets, organic stores, cafes and restaurants.

Dairy Bell announced last month it would close, blaming supermarket ice cream wars and loss of margin as its reasons, in an announcement on its website from its directors and founders.

“Supermarket ice cream wars have cost the retailer profit and the manufacturer loss of margin and have reduced our capacity to recover costs for some 4 years now with our capital being eroded year by year,” the statement reads.

“We tried our own shops with a terrific customer response however, the weekend trade (our best time) made losses due to the high weekend cost of labour in the stores.

Bon Appetit managing director Lou Da Lozzo said the company had started discussions with the owners of Dairy Bell about a month ago and signed off on the deal last week.

A new store would be opened about a 10 minutes' walk from the old store, Da Lozzo said.


Tassal talks acquisition with De Costi

Australia’s largest salmon producer, Tassal, has confirmed it is having discussions regarding the purchase of the De Costi business.

In a statement, Tassal said it is “focussed on and committed to growing domestic per capita consumption on salmon and ensuring that it optimises its supply chain.”

“Tassal has previously stated and continues to believe that strengthening and broadening its product offering from salmon to other seafood is ‘on strategy’ – as long as that other seafood supports its sustainability core values and delivers long term shareholder value.

“Any acquisition needs to be consistent with strategic plan objectives.”

Tassal said that although discussions have begun, there is no certainty that a transaction will eventuate, but it will keep the market informed of any material developments.

In November, Tassal was the first salmon company in the world to gain Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification across all its farming operations.

Tassal has been moving towards reaching full ASC certification since 2012, working in partnership with WWF-Australia.


ACCC steps back for JBS’s acquisition of Primo

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose JBS USA Holdings Inc’s (JBS) acquisition of Australian Consolidated Food Holdings Pty Limited (Primo) after it determined that Primo is not currently a strong competitive constraint on JBS.

The ACCC received submissions from a range of interested parties, including farmers, competing abattoirs, and meat and small goods suppliers and customers. Many industry participants expressed concern that the proposed acquisition would result in less competition in the market for the acquisition of fat cattle in northern NSW and Queensland.

“The ACCC undertook a detailed assessment and determined that Primo is currently not a strong competitive constraint on JBS. JBS’s abattoirs in Queensland and Primo’s abattoir at Scone are more than 500km apart,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“Furthermore, the increase in market share as a result of the proposed acquisition would be relatively small and JBS would continue to be constrained in the market for the acquisition of fat cattle by a number of alternative abattoirs and supermarket chains, in the northern NSW and southern Queensland region.”

While the ACCC determined that, in this instance, the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to raise significant competition concerns, the ACCC is wary of the potential impact of further consolidation of abattoirs.

“The ACCC will continue to monitor this industry and any future acquisitions will face additional scrutiny,” Sims said.

The ACCC also considered whether the proposed acquisition would have any competitive impact on meat customers, small goods customers or the provision of fat cattle service kills, but did not consider that any significant competition concerns arose.

JBS signed the $1.45 billion conditional agreement to acquire Primo Smallgoods in November last year.

The move is set to leverage Primo’s growing export operations across Asia, including China, and is consistent with the global strategy of JBS – which is the largest animal protein processing company in the world – to grow its presence in value-added products.

In addition to Primo, JBS Australian announced in July that it had purchased a majority shareholding in the family owned, Sydney based company, Andrews Meats.

JBS USA Holdings Inc is a meat processor listed on the Brazil stock exchange with ten processing plants in Australia, including beef processing capacity in Dinmore and Toowoomba in southern Queensland. JBS Australia processes beef, veal, lamb and mutton. JBS Australia also processes pigs on behalf of a third party at its Devonport plant in Tasmania.

Primo is majority owned by Affinity Equity Partners (a private equity firm based in Singapore) and produces processed beef, pork and smallgoods. Primo’s key smallgoods brands are Primo and Hans. It has a beef processing plant at Scone, NSW, and a pork processing plant at Port Wakefield, South Australia. It has manufacturing facilities at Chullora, NSW, and Wacol in Queensland.


SATO acquires majority stake in Russian label manufacturer

SATO has taken a majority stake in Okil-Holding, JSC, acquiring approximately 75 percent of all shares issued.

This transaction was completed on December 19, 2014, and Okil will now operate as a subsidiary within the SATO Group.

“Okil is recognized as a local market leader and fits perfectly into SATO’s strategic roadmap,” said Kaz Matsuyama, president and CEO of SATO Holdings.

“Our mid-term strategy is focused on achieving sustainable growth, while maximizing value for customers across the globe. This acquisition allows us to further solidify that strategy, establishing a foothold in Russia and strengthening our network within BRICS markets, which offer tremendous growth opportunity.”

Russia’s label market is expected to grow exponentially. The market has seen double digit growth since the late 2000s, with an average annual growth rate of 13 percent from the years 2009 to 2013.

Okil is headquartered in Saint Petersburg, Russia and holds the top position in the country’s label market with a 15 percent market share, recording 54.5 million USD in sales in FY2013. The company specializes in value-added product labels for the food and beverage, beauty and healthcare industries, and boasts a large customer base comprised of local companies and a variety of major multinational corporations. 

"We are excited to be moving into 2015 with SATO," said Denis Okulov, Okil’s founder and CEO. "Being part of the SATO Group will connect Okil to a wider global network, and allow us to deliver greater value to local customers through SATO's diverse range of solutions."


JBS to acquire Primo Smallgoods for $1.45 billion

Australia’s largest fresh meats processor JBS Australia has signed a $1.45 billion conditional agreement to acquire Primo Smallgoods.

As Australia’s largest ham, bacon and smallgoods producer in Australia and New Zealand, Primo’s operations include five key processing plants between the two countries, employing over 3,000 people.

The move is set to leverage Primo’s growing export operations across Asia, including China, and is consistent with the global strategy of JBS – which is the largest animal protein processing company in the world – to grow its presence in value-added products.

“While it will remain very much business as usual for our employees, suppliers and customers, this transaction offers tremendous opportunities for a producer of high quality products like Primo,” said Paul Hitchcock, Primo Group CEO. “We look forward to being part of JBS and capitalising on its international distribution network.”

“Primo Group is the leading company in this segment with strong brands and represents an outstanding opportunity to grow our business in Australia and internationally,” JBS CEO, Wesley Batista said.

“We are seeing strong annual growth in consumption of processed meat products with good prospects to increase exports of high quality convenience products from the Primo Group’s portfolio.”

The transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

In addition to Primo, JBS Australian announced in July that it had purchased a majority shareholding in the family owned, Sydney based company, Andrews Meats.