Fonterra pockets $64m from German start-up

Fonterra has sold its stake in the German protein product start-up Foodspring for a gain of $64 million.

Fonterra bought into Foodspring's parent, Goodminton, in March last year, as a launchpad into the health and wellness market.

It would not reveal the size of its stake, but sold it to the United States confectionary company Mars, which was looking to enter the nutrition market.

The chief operating officer of its value-add division, Kelvin Wickham, said Fonterra would continue to supply whey protein to Foodspring and would eye other opportunities in the market.

"This continues to be a really attractive market for our dairy protein and dairy specialty ingredients and we will keep up the momentum in this market."

Fonterra has a team in Singapore, dedicated to finding new business and investment opportunities, he said.

"This is not just about professional athletes or bodybuilders anymore. Today it is about everyday people taking more interest in their health and wellbeing, living longer and leading more active and healthier lives,"  Wickham said.

"Our key markets today are North America, then Europe and Japan. We are looking to take what we know there and expand it out into Asia, South East Asia and through into China."

He said the sale still had to get the necessary regulatory approvals, and it was not clear whether the $64m gain would be in this year's earnings.

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