01/04/2014 - 09:49

Harvey Fresh sold for $117m

01/04/2014 - 09:49

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Harvey Fresh has been acquired by Italian dairy giant Parmalat in a deal which values the Western Australian milk and fruit juice company at about $117 million.

Harvey Fresh sold for $117m

Harvey Fresh has been acquired by Italian dairy giant Parmalat in a deal that values the Western Australian milk and fruit juice company at about $117 million.

The company, established in the farming town of Harvey in 1986, has grown to become one of the three largest dairy processors in WA - alongside Lion and Brownes. 

Harvey Fresh, which is controlled by the related Sorgiovanni, Bonavita and Scolara families, also owns juice production facilities in Harvey and in Griffith in New South Wales, employing about 250 people, and has diversified into wine through its Harvey River Bridge Estate brand.

The company reported revenue of about $168 million in the 2013 financial year.

Parmalat, whose Australian operations are focused primarily on the east coast, owns brands including Pauls milk, Vaalia yoghurt, and Ice Break iced coffee.

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

"This acquisition improves the group's export capability to the Asiatic markets."

The deal marks the latest takeover of an Australian dairy company by overseas interests, with Canadian dairy giant Saputo earlier this year paying more than $500 million in an aggressive takeover battle for Victoria's Warrnambool Cheese & Butter.

Harvey Fresh's main competition are Kirin-owned Lion, which produces Pura-branded products at processing facilities in Bentley.

Dairy Farmers, Farmers Union, Dare, Big M and Masters products are also made by Lion.

Brownes was acquired by Sydney-based private equity fund Archer Capital in 2011.

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