Australia/New Zealand – Beam Suntory and Frucor Suntory have agreed to form an AU$3 billion (US$1.96bn) multi-beverage venture in Australia and New Zealand that will span across both premium spirits and non-alcoholic segments.

Trading under the name Suntory Oceania, the new JV will have full end-to-end control of its portfolio, including manufacturing, sales, and distribution.

Preparation is underway, with the aim of the partnership to be operational for mid-2025 in Australia and 2026 in New Zealand.

Once finalized, Suntory Oceania’s leading trading brands will include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Hibiki Japanese Whisky, and Canadian Club Whisky among the select portfolio of 40 leading drinks.

On the alcohol-free side, juices, soft drinks, and sports drinks including Orangina, Lucozade and Ribena, will reach the ANZ market through Suntory Oceania, as well as coffee and water brands.

Mark Hill, managing director of Beam Suntory Oceania, said: “This collaboration demonstrates our belief in the growth potential of the Australian and New Zealand markets. When other businesses are pulling back, we are forging ahead, bringing Suntory’s spirit of bold ambition to life.”

Beam Suntory saw net sales increase by 10.5% in 2022, with double-digit growth in Oceania.

The merger represents the largest single Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) investment in Australia in more than a decade and will include the construction of a new AU$400 million, net zero facility in Queensland, with the ability to produce 20 million cases initially and more than 50m cases in the future.

The vision for the new Queensland site includes 14km of solar panels, a biomass boiler, and sustainable, state-of-the-art production equipment. Around 400 jobs will be created because of the partnership.

Frucor Suntory CEO Darren Fullerton stated that the new venture is all about bringing the best of Suntory to Oceania.

With the ability to accelerate the company’s growth trajectory, Frucor Suntory strongly believes it will redefine market dynamics and offer more consumer beverage moments from sunrise to sunset, unlocking innovation for its customers across retail and hospitality industries.

The new site will become home to additional beverage processing, packaging, warehousing, and distribution, complementing the group’s current manufacturing site in Auckland. The Queensland facility is expected to be in operation by mid-2024.

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