New Zealand and European-based testing and certification services have teamed up to buy the Dairy Technical Services (DTS) business owned by Fonterra Australia, Murray Goulburn (MG) and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WBC).
Fonterra, MG and WBC respectively own 36 per cent, 25.3pc and 13.3pc of the Melbourne-based business, originally established in 1954 as a co-operative testing service for dairy companies in Victoria.
A consortium comprising of the Singapore arm of Belgium-based Bureau Veritas and existing 25pc partner AssureQuality Limited will buy out the other three partners.
AsureQuality is a NZ government-owned agricultural testing service.
Full details of the value of the sale have not been released, but MG advised its share in the business will return a one-off profit before tax of $18 million.
The sale, which is conditional on regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by late May.
DTS also has facilities in Sydney and Brisbane and is regarded as having the largest food microbiology and chemistry laboratories in Australia, and about 400 staff.
A statement from Fonterra noted the new owners of DTS would bring extensive international testing experience to the Australian dairy and food industry, and would continue to provide testing services to Fonterra.
MG said DTS’s new management would provide best-in-class testing capabilities to Australia’s food industry, including its own business.