Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has acquired substantial stake in Bega Cheese via its investment vehicle, Tattarang AgriFood Investments. From the period 10 November to 29 December, Forrest had invested A$108.3 million (US$79 million) to acquire 6.6% stake in Bega Cheese, effectively making him an important figure in Australia dairy segment.
According to a statement released by John Hartman, Chief Investment Officer of the Tattarang Group, “Tattarang is committed to investing in Australian businesses and brands that showcase the best of our country to the world. Our investment in Bega Cheese Limited is part of this long term commitment.”
The investment comes at a time when Bega Cheese, which also owns the Lion Dairy and Drinks business, is facing pandemic challenges in the form of lockdowns and supply constraints on top of its weakening sales in the once-thriving China market for infant formula.
Bega is expecting upward pressure on farm gate milk prices to remain for the balance of the year, reflecting high global dairy commodity prices and limited supply.
Bega Cheese acquisition of Lion Dairy and Drinks had pushed its revenue past A$2 billion (US$1.45 billion) while also creating one of the largest cold chain distribution network in Australia.
The Tattarang Group has been on an acquisition spree in recent months buying up New Norcia Farm in Western Australia for A$40 million (US$29.1 million) to expand its cattle and beef supply chain, as well as acquiring hotel and resort properties as it expects to benefit from the strong rebound in local tourism.