Lion Dairy and Drinks will now come under Australian ownership after the federal treasurer blocked attempts to sell the firm to Chinese dairy giant Mengniu in August.
Following months of speculation, Bega Cheese confirmed it would acquire the entirety of Lion Dairy from Japanese company Kirin Holdings after agreeing to pay $534 million.
“The expanded product range, manufacturing and distribution infrastructure and brand portfolio realise our ambition of creating a truly great Australian food company,” he said.
Bega Cheese, already an Australian household name, will expand its product range considerably with Lion Dairy’s stable of market-leading brands including Dare, Pura, Yoplait, Farmers Union, and Vitasoy.
Despite receiving approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, the treasurer decided against giving the final thumbs up for the deal to go ahead.
The decision came amidst an ongoing Beijing-instigated trade dispute and concerns over foreign ownership of sensitive assets.
As a result, FIRB approval for foreign investment deals has been slow coming in recent months and has caused some Chinese firms to back out of buying Australian assets.