Fonterra considering sale of Anchor, Mainland brands

Fonterra's consumer business includes brands such as Anchor and Mainland. Photo: RNZ
Fonterra's consumer business includes brands such as Anchor and Mainland. Photo: RNZ
Dairy cooperative Fonterra is looking to sell all or part of its global consumer business as it shifts its focus to becoming a global business-to-business provider of dairy nutrition products.

Fonterra's consumer business brands included Anchor, Mainland, Kāpiti, Anlene, Anmum, Fernleaf, Western Star, Perfect Italiano and others.

Those brands used about 15 percent of the co-op's total milk solids and represented about 19 percent of its underlying profit in the first half of this financial year.

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrel said the co-op could increase its value to farmers as a business-to-business dairy nutrition provider.

The company expected to continue supplying milk to the consumer brands through its ingredients business.

"We believe we can grow further value for the Co-op by focusing on being a B2B dairy nutrition provider, working closely with customers through our high-performing ingredients and foodservice channels," Hurrel said.

"This will be enabled by strong relationships with farmers, a flexible manufacturing and supply chain footprint, deeper partnerships with strategic ingredients customers, further investment in our Foodservice channel, continued delivery on our sustainability commitments and investment in innovation."

The divestment of its consumer businesses could also include integrated businesses, including Fonterra Oceania and Fonterra Sri Lanka.

The sale could include 17 co-op-owned manufacturing sites around the world, including three in New Zealand.

The sale of its business units was expected to take at least 12 to 18 months and would require shareholder support.

Fonterra said it had already received unsolicited interest in the consumer parts of the business.

Global markets chief executive Judith Swales was leaving the co-op, as the company changes strategic direction.