PH-listed Universal Robina sells 40% stake in Oceania unit to Europe’s Intersnack

Universal Robina

Philippine food business conglomerate Universal Robina Corp (URC) on Monday announced that it has sold a 40 per cent stake in its Oceania subsidiary – URC Oceania Co Ltd – to Europe-based Intersnack Group for an undisclosed amount.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, URC said it has entered into a strategic partnership with Intersnack Group to boost its operations in the Oceania snack food market.

The acquisition involves URC’s consolidated businesses in Australia and New Zealand. The consideration for the transaction will be a mix of cash and shares of Yarra Valley Snack Foods Pty Ltd, Intersnack’s natural snack food unit in Australia.

Intersnack Group is a privately-owned European business with operations in 24 countries. The company has built an extensive product portfolio of savoury snacks including potato and tortilla chips, puffed and other corn snacks, baked products, popcorn, and nuts.

Today, Intersnack generates about $3 billion in net sales across Europe. In Australia, its presence is currently limited to Yarra Valley, a market leader in better-for-you, organic and gluten-free snacks.

Both parties intend to complete the transaction once the necessary approvals are obtained from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

URC said the partnership will yield “best practices in manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability practices”, setting the groundwork for “even larger and more efficient Oceania operations”.

“Through this transaction, URC monetizes some of the synergies it has generated from its early investments in Australia and New Zealand, while still retaining control and its ability to further create value within and beyond ANZ,” the company said.

In 2016, URC acquired Australia’s second-largest salty snacks market Snack Brands Australia for A$600 million in a bid to dominate the Oceania market. The deal gave URC a strong Western snack manufacturer to incorporate into its vast Asian distribution network.