Bega Cheese has won the race for Lion Dairy & Drinks and have announced a capital raising to fund the $534m acquisition. At an offer price of $4.60 per share, Bega is looking to raise approximately $401m, split between a $220m accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer and a $181m institutional placement. The remainder of the purchase price will be funded by debt.
With the purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks, Bega takes over Australia’s largest national cold chain distribution network supplying food service and convenience stores. Further to the Australian business which includes manufacturing, marketing sales and distribution of a range of brands from 13 sites, Bega is also tapping into joint ventures and alliances with Sodima to manufacture, market and sell yoghurt under the Yoplait brand in Australia and South East Asia. Bega’s annual milk intake will lift from 955m litres to 1.7bn litres and the company expects the combined business to generate revenue in excess of $3bn annually.