Australian food manufacturer Bega Cheese has reached an agreement with Vita International for the sale of its Hong-Kong based subsidiary, Vitasoy Australia.
Bega, under its subsidiary National Foods Holdings, acquired 49 percent of Vitasoy in 2021 as part of the Lion Dairy & Drinks business transaction.
A new offer of AUD 51 million (approx. $36 million) has now been accepted for the plant-based beverages and yogurts joint venture.
In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange in October 2022, Bega Cheese said that Vita International had “change of control” rights under the shareholders agreement that regulates the affairs of Vitasoy Australia. The relevant provisions of the shareholders’ agreement provided Vita International with the option to acquire all shares held by National Foods.
Vita International exercised a call option right to purchase the 49% shareholding owned by BGA in Vitasoy in accordance with the shareholders’ agreement held between BGA, Vita International and Vitasoy.
Vitasoy lodged its intention to exercise this call option with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in November. At the time, Bega described Vitasoy’s offer of AUD 27.5 million (approx. $18.5 million) as “substantially less” than the fair value of National Foods’ shareholding in Vitasoy Australia. As a result, National Foods said it intended to dispute the fair value amount proposed by Vita International.
In order to facilitate the transition of the Vitasoy Australia business, Bega’s subsidiary BDD Milk will provide transition services, including the sale and distribution of Vitasoy’s products in Australia until 31 March 2023.
Further details were not disclosed.
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