Bega Cheese will buy rival manufacturer Lion Dairy & Drinks for $534 million and substantially bolster its product range and retail presence.
Bega on Thursday told the share market it would buy Lion, which produces milk drinks, yoghurt, juices, cream and custard.
Executive chair Barry Irvin said the purchase would provide more manufacturing and distribution resources, and benefit its supply chain.
Japanese company Kirin owns Lion, and the latter has Australia’s largest cold chain distribution network, which supplies convenience stores.
Bega said it aims to complete the purchase at the end of January. Bega will raise $401 million from a share sale to institutions and retail investors to fund the purchase.
Shares in the company have stopped trading while it prepares the share sale.
They last traded for $5.06.