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Suntory to commence sale of Cerebos’ Food & Instant Coffee business

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Cerebos Australia and Cerebos Gregg’s New Zealand (“Cerebos”) has announced that following a strategic review with parent company Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd (“SBF”), it will commence a process which may lead to the sale of its Food & Instant Coffee business in Australia, New Zealand and Asian Home Gourmet in Singapore.

SBF will retain the Fresh Coffee business which will form part of a new business unit focused on capturing a larger share of the rapidly growing global fresh coffee market. Terry Svenson, the current CEO of Cerebos Australia/New Zealand will lead the new Fresh Coffee business as CEO.

Cerebos is owned by SBF, a global soft drink company with consolidated net sales of approximately 1.4 trillion yen in 2016 which is headquartered in Japan and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Mr Svenson said SBF’s core focus was on the beverage category which led to the decision to commence a sale of the Food & Instant Coffee business.

“Cerebos’ fresh coffee brands are a strong complement to SBF’s existing beverage portfolio globally. SBF remains committed to investing in fresh coffee to capitalise on our market leading positions to grow the business further,” he said.

“Cerebos’ Food & Instant Coffee business has a number of market-leading brands across Australia and New Zealand. While we have made great progress in recent years, including significant improvements to the efficiency of our manufacturing operations, food and instant coffee are not a core category focus for SBF and growth opportunities can potentially be maximised under different ownership.”

Cerebos operates one food manufacturing facility in Sydney and an instant coffee operation in New Zealand. The Food & Instant Coffee business includes some of the most iconic food brands in Australia and New Zealand such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro and Asian Home Gourmet across a number of categories including sauces, gravies, herbs & spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts and cooking ingredients.

Mr Svenson said the sale process of the Food & Instant Coffee business is expected to take 6-9 months.

“In the meantime, it’s business as usual for our people, our customers and our consumers with no change to our day-to-day operations.

“We will continue to advise our key stakeholders of updates during the process,” he said.

These changes do not impact on SBF’s other businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

UBS AG has been appointed as financial adviser.