Japan’s Megmilk buys Australian cheesemaker for 1.2 bln yen

TOKYO, Sept. 30 — Megmilk Snow Brand Co., one of Japan’s largest dairy company, has bought a majority share of an Australian cheesemaker for 1.2 billion yen, betting on fast-growing markets in Asia to boost sales of its high-quality products.

The Japanese company, with its Australian subsidiary, acquired 90% of Udder Delights Australia (UDA) Pty Ltd., the Adelaide-based cheese company, on Sept. 29.

Sullivan Enterprises (SA) Pty Ltd., the Sullivan family business, retains a 10% share in UDA.

UDA specializes handmade artisan cheeses that includes white mold, blue mold cheese, goat milk cheese and organic cheese. It sells its products to high-end hotels and restaurants in Australia.

The focus on Asian markets comes at a time when Megmilk has been locked in declining demand for dairy products in Japan caused by a shrinking population. But demand of dairy products in Asia outside Japan has been growing.

“The deal will help us boost our business base in Australia and export our products to the surging markets in Asia,” a Megmilk spokesman said.

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