Kirin buys iconic Australian vitamin brand Blackmore’s. Will it prove a hard pill to swallow?

This is breaking news! (@27th April 2023)

Japanese beverage giant Kirin is buying iconic Vitamin & Mineral brand Blackmore’s for $1.3b.

Blackmore’s board has approved Kirin’s offer which of A$95/share a 24% premium to Wednesday’s closing price.

Blackmore’s holds a dominant position in the Australian VMS market and the brand has also built a substantial market presence in SE Asia and China too.

It is significant that Blackmore’s does not have a big presence in Japan. Walk into any drug store and the brand is not there. Japan is one of the biggest VMS markets in Asia.

Whilst beer sales in Japan may be declining, the same cannot be said for Vitamins, Minerals and other health related products.

What will Kirin do with Blackmore’s post acquisition? That is a very big and unanswered question. Kirin’s history of takeovers is quite long, however it has a far less successful history of integrating or turning around acquisitions – Kirin’s Brazilian business was later sold to Heineken for $700m (after buying it for $3.4b) for example.

Old Blackmore’s TVC

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