Suntory merge creates new $3 billion beverage giant

Suntory has merged its two Australasian drinks businesses, Frucor Suntory and Beam Suntory, to create Suntory Oceania, a new $3 billion drinks group.

The merging of the two Suntory brands will create the fourth-largest ANZ beverage group in Oceania with full end-to-end control of its portfolio, including manufacturing, sales, and distribution, and is set to be up and running from mid-2025.

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

“With the ability to accelerate our growth trajectory, we strongly believe it will redefine market dynamics and offer more consumer beverage moments from sunrise to sunset, unlocking innovation for our customers across retail and hospitality industries.” 

Suntory Oceania will have 40 market-leading alcoholic and non-alcoholic brands in its portfolio, including V Energy, Maximus, Suntory BOSS Coffee, Jim Beam, Makers Mark Bourbon, Canadian Club Whisky, and Hibiki Japanese Whisky.

Mark Hill, Managing Directory of Beam Suntory Oceania, said this collaboration demonstrates their belief in the growth potential of the Australian and New Zealand markets.

“With Suntory Oceania, we are looking to the future with optimism and a wholly owned platform from which to build the long-term growth of our brands for years to come. It is the perfect opportunity for us to build upon the strength of Suntory as the global leader across the beverage sector.”

The creation of Suntory Oceania signals the end of Beam Suntory’s 16-year partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), which has been responsible for the sales and distribution of the Beam Suntory spirits portfolio, as well as the manufacture, sales, and distribution of its alcoholic RTD portfolio.

Peter West, Regional Managing Director for Australia, Pacific, and Indonesia at CCEP, said they are proud of the results and capabilities they have built over the last 16 years.

“It’s been an exceptionally successful partnership, achieving rapid growth and driving strong category leadership including recently becoming the MAT market leader in alcoholic RTD in Australia.”

West said it will continue to be business as usual until the contract expires in Australia on 30 June 2025, and in New Zealand on 31 December 2025.

The announcement of Suntory Oceania coincides with the construction of Suntory’s new $400 million net-zero facility in Ipswich, Queensland, which is the largest single FMCG investment in Australia in over a decade.

“The new site sets the industry standard in terms of investment into sustainable technologies to drive efficiency and minimise our carbon footprint. We are looking at a multi-pronged strategy through a CleanCo solar power purchase agreement, over 14km of solar panels on site, biomass boiler and state-of-the-art production equipment,” said Fullerton.

The Ipswich facility aims to be operational by mid-2024 and will complement the current manufacturing operations in Auckland, with the ability to produce 20 million cases on start-up and over 50 million cases in the future.

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