The end of an era! Iconic Aussie brand Arnott’s snapped up by foreign buyer

Arnott's biscuits has been sold to foreign firm KKR & Co after being placed on the market by previous US owners Campbell Soup late last year. Source: Getty

They are a favourite Aussie treat loved by all across the country, but now the iconic Tim Tam could be in for a change as parent brand Arnott’s has been snapped up by a foreign buyer.

The chocolate biscuit, along with other delicious treats including the Iced Vo Vo and Shapes, has changed hands with global private equity firm KKR and Co now in ownership of company Arnott’s, The Australian Financial Review reports.

The firm has reportedly bought the brand from previous owner US food giant Campbell Soup for a whopping $3.4 billion following a long-winded auction over the past year, beating off competition from Australia’s Pacific Equity Partners.

The announcement comes months after Arnott’s was initially listed for sale by Campbell’s, who revealed their plans to downsize and reduce debts by selling off Arnott’s for good back in August 2018.

The US parent company said at the time that it had asked investment banks to start the process of selling its international division, which included Arnott’s in Australia.

Read more: Beloved Aussie brand Arnott’s set to change hands as US owner looks to sell

Describing the international division and its Campbell Fresh unit as “non-core”, the US company said that the two businesses made US$2.1 billion (AU$2.9 billion) in net sales in the 2018 financial year and that the money raised by the sale would be used to pay down company debt.

The result of the “more focused portfolio” would be bigger savings as part of a broader cost-cutting program that Campbell is running.

Previously Aussies have been left outraged after iconic home grown brands were sold to overseas companies with the most heartbreaking being the sale of Vegemite.

Read more: One of our most iconic brands is back in Aussie hands

Back in 2012, Monelez – who also own Cadbury – took control of Kraft, Vegemite’s longtime owner, prompting some Australians to boycott Vegemite and other Aussie products that had made their way into foreign ownership.

Thankfully though, around five years later, dairy company Bega Cheese decided to get on board and bring the brand home. At the time Bega chairman Barry Irvin was quoted in The Australian as describing the deal as a “rare opportunity” to buy the brand.

“Vegemite does not often change hands and, in fact, it hasn’t really changed hands for 90 years,” he said. “This is a food manufacturing company with an iconic brand in Vegemite and great opportunities in the future. We see it as a great fit and a great next step for Bega Cheese.”

What do you think about the sale of Arnott’s? What is your favourite Arnott’s product?

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