Fonterra has agreed to sell its iconic ice cream business Tip Top to global ice cream company Froneri for $380 million.
CEO Miles Hurrell described the announcement as ‘a bittersweet moment for Fonterra’, which acquired the New Zealand business in 2001.
“Since we took ownership of Tip Top in 2001, a lot of work has gone into ensuring it remained New Zealand’s leading ice cream company. Over that time, we’ve had strong support from New Zealanders, and I want to recognise and thank them for that,” Mr Hurrell said.
“Tip Top has always listened to consumers and cared about their changing tastes, as well as their long-time favourites. An average of 340 serves of Tip Top are enjoyed every minute of every day.
“This came through in both the number and quality of bids we received. It’s a fantastic brand and as a result, we’ve secured a good price for our farmers and unit holders.”
He said the terms of the sale ensure that Fonterra farmers ‘will continue to be part of the Tip Top story’.
“We will also retain full global ownership of the Kapiti brand and will be licencing its use for ice cream to Froneri. This means our popular Kapiti cheese isn’t going anywhere,” Mr Hurrell continued.
“I get the strong connection New Zealanders have with Tip Top. It will be important for them to see that it’s in good hands.
“It’s been a privilege being the guardians of Tip Top, but it’s time to hand the baton to new owners. The well-loved brand needs continuing investment and focused ownership to be sustainable for generations to come. It’s not something we’re in a position to do right now.”
Froneri is the third largest ice cream manufacturer in the world, selling a wide array of well-known ice cream brands in 20 countries.
The company’s CEO Ibrahim Najafi said Froneri will maintain both the Tip Top name and its operations, including the Auckland based factory site at Mount Wellington.
“We have always admired Tip Top as New Zealand’s favourite and most trusted ice cream brand. The acquisition enhances our scale and supports our vision to build the world’s best ice cream company,” Mr Najafi concluded.