Economy

Dip-maker Menora Foods sold to Monde Nissin; The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson hits out at “bullying” critics: Midday Roundup

Eloise Keating /

Filipino food conglomerate Monde Nissin Corporation has added dip maker Menora Foods to its growing stable of Australian brands, signing off on the $55 million deal at the end of last week.

Monde Nissin’s plans to acquire Menora, which is home Wattle Valley dips, Peckish crackers and Chobani Greek Yoghurt, were revealed in January. In July 2014, the company picked up Australian dip brand Black Swan for $115 million and in February paid around $80 million for Nudie Juice.

According to Fairfax, Monde Nissin will use is distributions systems to Asia to take its newly acquired Australian brands into new markets.

“Monde Nissin has a significant market share in the products it already has in Asia and in the Philippines in particular,” Monde Nissin Australia’s Chris O’Sullivan told Fairfax.

“This is a real opportunity for growth for them and the opportunity to take some premium brands back into their Asian markets.”

O’Sullivan said there are no plans to merge the three Australian businesses and it is unlikely there will be redundancies.

“We feel the businesses are successful because of the people within them,” he said.

“There’s no reasons to mess with something that’s working.”

“We’re buying these businesses because of the people and the processes and how they’ve got to where they are and we’d like that to continue; it’s a good story for Australian manufacturing.”

The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson hits out at “bullying” critics

The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson has taken to social media to label her critics as bullies, after the entrepreneur was accused of failing to donate money promised to charity and of fabricating cancer claims.

Fairfax reports Gibson used an alias to post a statement on Facebook on Friday, telling former friends and acquaintances who had raised doubts about her background in media interviews to “make yourself invisible to me”.

Gibson allegedly told those who doubt her story to speak to the media if they need to because “if says more about you, and your priorities than me or the story you’ll get paid to tell”. But in a separate post, Gibson said those who have spoken to media outlets were “knowingly contributing to the blatant attacking and bullying of myself and my family”.

Gibson shot to prominence with The Whole Pantry app, which has been downloaded 300,000 times. Her cook book, The Whole Pantry, was recently published by Penguin and she counts 197,000 followers on Instagram and 35,000 Facebook fans among her audience.

Gibson defended her business in the post, which she said has “changed hundreds of thousands for the better”.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, taking a cautious lead from Wall Street’s close on Friday.

Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said trading is likely to remain subdued as US investors wait for a meeting of the Federal Reserve. On the local front, K’Nell said investors are continuing to take profits from the gains achieved in February.

“Market turnover into lunch was $1.305 billion, with investors again sitting on the sidelines as they did on Friday,” K’Nell said.

“Another quiet day on the economic scene in the region, so expect a quiet afternoon.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 29.4 points to 5785.1 points at 12pm AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 145.91 points lower, down 0.82% to 17749.3 points.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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