Deerfield / IL. (mdlz) Mondelez International announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its Kraft-branded Cheese Business in Middle East and Africa (MEA) to Arla Foods of Denmark. The move enables Mondelēz to focus on its newly-announced strategic plan to drive top-line growth and generate attractive returns, centered around three priorities: accelerate consumer-centric growth, drive operational excellence and build a winning growth culture. Under this plan, the company will continue to focus on faster-growing snacks categories, including its core Chocolate, Biscuits, and Gum + Candy offerings.
«We’re very proud to have been the custodians of the Kraft Cheese brand in recent years. Our talented teams have been instrumental to the success of our Cheese business in this region and I am confident that they will continue contributing their significant expertise under new owners. The time is right for the brand to take the next step in its journey and we are very happy to hand over this successful business to Arla Foods,» said Maurizio Brusadelli, EVP and President, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) for Mondelēz International.
«We are very happy with our investments in Bahrain. Our recently inaugurated state-of-the-art Biscuits factory will continue serving local and export markets, and we will now also produce our beloved Tang powdered beverages in this plant,» he added.
Executive Vice President of Arla Foods’ International business, Tim Ørting Jørgensen, said: «We are pleased to welcome this successful business into the Arla family. We have an established and growing business in the Middle East and know our consumers and customers well in this part of the world. As such, this deal is an excellent strategic fit for us as it enables us to both expand our branded presence in the cheese category and secure the local production capacity we have been looking for to continue to grow our business.»
All Kraft-branded Cheese products in the MEA markets, as well as the cheese manufacturing facility in Bahrain, are subject to this sale transaction. The cream cheese brand Philadelphia and Jocca cottage cheese are not included in the deal and remain under the ownership of Mondelēz International. The recently opened Biscuits manufacturing facility in Bahrain is also not affected by the transaction. This plant will also now start producing Tang powdered beverages. There are no changes to the Cheese + Grocery business of Mondelēz International in other markets around the world as a result of this announcement.
The transaction is expected to close in the next few months, subject to regulatory approvals.