Print Page  Close Window

Financial news release

Cereal Partners Worldwide to Acquire Uncle Tobys Cereal Business in Australia

LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2006--Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), the successful joint venture between Nestle (NYSE:NSRGY) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS), today confirmed that it plans to purchase the Uncle Tobys ready-to-eat and hot cereal business in Australia for approximately US $375 million in cash. This acquisition will move CPW into the number two market share position in the Australian cereal market. The transaction, which is expected to close this summer, also includes rights for CPW to market ready-to-eat and hot cereals in New Zealand. Product manufacturing will continue at the Uncle Tobys facility in Wahgunyah, Victoria.

The Australian ready-to-eat cereal market ranks as one of the world's largest, generating annual retail sales of more than US $600 million. CPW has successfully operated in Australia since 2003 and currently markets the Milo, Cheerios and Nesquik cereal brands. Uncle Tobys began operations in 1893 and is an iconic brand with Australian consumers. Today, the Uncle Tobys breakfast cereal line holds a 19 percent share of category retail sales and includes brands such as PLUS and Vita Brits, as well as Uncle Tobys Hot Oats, which enjoys strong leadership in the hot cereal segment of the category.

The CPW joint venture began operations in January 1991 focused on the global breakfast cereal category outside of North America. CPW is now the second largest cereal company outside North America, with annual net sales of approximately US $1.4 billion and business in more than 130 countries. The venture has successfully reflected the depth of expertise of its two partners in bringing strong innovation and value to consumers. General Mills is the second largest cereal manufacturer in North America, and has enormous technological and marketing expertise gained over more than 80 years of breakfast cereal experience. Nestle's worldwide presence, local market knowledge and distribution strength have enabled CPW to grow rapidly into a global cereal player. CPW will use the acquisition of Uncle Tobys cereals to enlarge its presence in the important Australia market, and to further enhance the nutritional credentials of breakfast cereal using the trusted Uncle Tobys brand.


    CONTACT: General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis
             Thomas Forsythe, 763-764-6364
             or
             Nestle
             Robin Tickle, +41-21-924-3517

    SOURCE: General Mills, Inc.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding General Mills, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.