Japan, Australia: Kirin moves further away from beer

Kirin Holdings Co is one step further in its plans to expand the business beyond alcoholic beverages. The Japanese beverage giant today announced it has agreed to buy 100% of the outstanding shares of Australian health supplements company Blackmores Ltd in a USD 1.2 billion takeover.

Blackmores, which manufactures an extensive line of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements sold in 17 markets across Asia Pacific, has suffered badly during the COVID-19 pandemic, losing about two-thirds of its value over the past 8 years. Previously, the company benefited primarily from China's appetite for imported dietary supplements. "Daigou" buyers typically bought the goods in Australia and carried them in their luggage on their return to China. However, that business ground to a halt during the severe travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic and has struggled to recover ever since.

"When you've spent 57 years at a business, you don't want to see the business suffer, and you want to see the business successful," said former chairman Marcus Blackmore, 78, son of the firm's founder in a phone interview. "I have no doubt in my mind that Kirin will deliver on that promise to me," added Blackmore, who is also top shareholder of the company with 19%.

The deal fits in “Kirin’s Group Vision 2027”, where the company states to “become a global leader in CSV by creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals”. Kirin said it is committed to play a role “as a responsible alcohol producer, and achieving mutual sustainable growth by contributing to resolving social issues in the fields of people’s health and well-being, community engagement, and the environment.”

Share this article: