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Kirin explores options for Lion Dairy & Drinks, including sale

Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. said Sept. 11 that it is placing its Lion Dairy & Drinks brands under strategic review to explore options for the business, including a sale.

The unit produces and distributes dairy products and beverages in Oceania.

The Japanese beverage maker and its subsidiary Lion Pty. Ltd., which manages the company's Oceania integrated beverage business, will also consider retaining and investing in the dairy and beverage brand.

The company said Lion Dairy & Drinks has delivered significant profit improvements since 2015, through a turnaround program launched in 2014 and a medium-term business plan announced in February 2016. At that time, the plan was to reform the cost structure of Lion Dairy & Drinks' entire supply chain by cutting production costs and reorganizing production sites.

In Kirin's half-year results, Lion Dairy & Drinks reported lower revenue and profits, which the company attributed to sales declines in the ambient and chilled juice categories and the effect of the container deposit scheme in New South Wales, Australia.

The company said no decision has been made at this time, and that it will make the appropriate announcement when an outcome has been reached.

Lion Dairy & Drinks, formerly National Foods Ltd., was acquired by Kirin from Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. in 2007.