Industry players are betting on Dutch dairy producer, FrieslandCampina disposing its Friso business as it reacts to rapidly evolving but challenging nutrition market, particularly in China.
According to its CEO Hein Schumacher, the aim of the company’s strategic review process is to ensure that the Friso business is optimally set up to capture future growth. The cooperative is rumoured to be planning to kick off a sale of Friso in the coming days in a deal valued at as much as Euro 2.2 billion (US$2.48 billion).
It was believed that Investment bank JPMorgan is advising FrieslandCampina on the sale of Friso and has sent out particulars to potential buyers including private-equity firms and other possible suitors.
The Friso brand has presence in more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It produces formula under the Friso Mum, Friso Gold and Friso Prestige brands.
FrieslandCampina reported earlier that its first half 2021 revenue for its specialised nutrition unit, which includes Friso, decreased by 14.9% to Euro 516 million (US$590.5 million) year-on-year, with operating profit down 84.2%. The cooperative attributed the drop in sales to closure of the border between Hong Kong and mainland China and growing competition from domestic players in China.
Friesland has been reviewing its strategies in various markets amidst the pandemic. In January 2021, it sold its 50% stake in Thailand yogurt business, Betagen and in May 2021, it sold its subsidiary in Russia to German peer Ehrmann.
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FrieslandCampina Ingredients (local APAC office)