Coomboona Dairy has officially been acquired by Australian Fresh Milk Holdings, making the company the largest dairy producer in the country.
As part of the acquisition, processor Freedom Foods contributed $4.6million in equity funding in return for a 10 per cent stake in the dairy business, near Undera.
Freedom Foods said the purchase would expand production in a renowned dairy farming region, ‘‘providing the opportunity to leverage its integrated approach to deliver sustainable production of high quality milk, supporting a range of value-added product opportunities’’.
AFMH currently operates a fully integrated dairy farming operation, Moxey Farms, located in the Lachlan Valley in NSW, 340km west of Sydney.
With the acquisition of the Coomboona Dairy operation, current AFMH operations are forecast to produce more than 150million litres in 2019.
AFMH is a strategic partnership owned by the Moxey and Perich families and other shareholders including Freedom Foods Group which has a 10 per cent equity shareholding.
Freedom Foods is now utilising a growing proportion of the dairy milk output from Moxey Farms and Coomboona Dairy for its Australia’s Own Kid’s Milk and other dairy product formats.
Progress is continuing on Freedom Foods’ nutritional and UHT investments in Shepparton with processing at both facilities expected to commence this month.
The first stage of the UHT upgrade will commence this year, with the upgrade and associated works key parts of increasing the total processing capacity to 500million litres each from the current processing capacity of 250million litres.
The company also said it had received all regulatory approvals to commence commercial operations at its new nutritionals plant at Shepparton, which will begin producing micellar casein, with liquid and powder formats being supplied to initial customers.
Following micellar casein production, the company will progress with native whey protein isolate and lactoferrin next year.