Dairy industry darling Synlait has hit troubled waters lately and its latest captain is baling out.
Last year, Fonterra sold its iconic Tip Top ice cream business to UK-based Froneri. Now Canterbury milk processor Synlait has sold its Deep South brand and associated ice cream operations to Talley’s Group for an undisclosed sum.
New owner Talley’s is one of NZ’s biggest ice cream manufacturers. The company also owns a majority stake in Open Country Dairy and wholly owns meat processor Affco.
The 42-year old Deep South brand was owned by Dairyworks since 2016. Last year Synlait bought Dairyworks as part of its strategy to grow its consumer brands footprint in cheese and butter.
Synlait chief executive Leon Clement says the decision to sell the Deep South ice cream brand is in line with that strategy.
Dairyworks chief executive Tim Carter says Dairyworks is going through a period of rapid expansion in its core categories of cheese, speciality cheese, yogurt, and convenience butters.
“While Deep South is a successful part of our current portfolio, ice cream is not our core business. The brand has strong growth potential for a business more focused on ice cream.”
When buying Dairyworks, Synlait said the acquisition would provide Synlait with another meaningful move towards the delivery of its ‘Everyday Dairy’ strategy and complemented the company’s recent purchase of cheese manufacturer Talbot Forest.
“This business is a great strategic fit for us and an important step in growing our presence in the Everyday Dairy category,” Synlait said.