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Parmalat 'strengthens its position' in Australia with Harvey Fresh buy

By Mark Astley+

01-Apr-2014

Italian dairy giant Parmalat has moved to strengthen its market position Down Under through the acquisition of Australian dairy and juice product manufacturer Harvey Fresh.

Parmalat, owned by French dairy Lactalis, announced yesterday that its subsidiary Parmalat Australia had acquired Western Australia-based Harvey Fresh for €79m (US$109m).

Harvey Fresh, which reported revenue of around €113m (US$156m) in the last financial year, manufactures a wide range of products including fresh milk, UHT milk, flavored milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, and fruit juice.

From its manufacturing facilities in Harvey and Griffith, the company currently supplies customers in Western Australia and the east coast of the country and exports to Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.

The deal, which Parmalat financed internally, has been heralded by the company as "further progress in the strategy to grow the Group’s international activities.”

“With this transaction, the Parmalat Group strengthens its position in the Australian market, broadening its geographical footprint in that country and becomes a fully national player," said Parmalat in a statement. 

"This acquisition improves the Group’s export capability to the Asiatic markets.”

The takeover will also see Parmalat boost its presence in Western Australia, where Harvey Fresh is the second largest dairy player.

“Harvey Fresh operates in the state of Western Australia, where Parmalat has a marginal presence, and is specialized in the production of fresh and UHT milk dairy products, in addition to a significant business in the fruit beverage market.”

Parmalat took its first steps in Australia in 1998 through its 100% acquisition of leading fresh milk manufacturer Pauls Ltd. In September 2003, after launching the Parmalat brand Down Under, Pauls Ltd was renamed Parmalat Australia.

The since expanded company, which now operates six production facilities in Brisbane, Darwin, Bendigo, Rowville, Nambour, and Rockhampton, manufactures and markets a wide range of product including pasteurized milk, UHT milk, custard, desserts, yogurt, dairy drinks, and fruit juices.

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