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Our History

Formed by the amalgamation of some of Australia and New Zealand’s most celebrated food and beverage companies, Lion has a rich local heritage.

2014

Lion establishes a fourth business unit called Lion Asia Dairy

2013

Lion acquires 10% stake in Warrnambool Cheese & Butter

2011

We become Lion. Operating as one company with three businesses:-
• Lion Beer, Spirits, and Wine Australia
• Lion, Beer, Spirits and Wine Nz
• Lion Dairy and Drinks

Lion acquires Little World Beverages in Australia, and Emersons in New Zealand

2009

Kirin Holdings Company Limited assumes 100 per cent ownership of Lion Nathan. Lion Nathan is merged with National Foods (owned by Kirin since 2007), to form Lion Nathan National Foods.

Global brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, appoints Lion Nathan distribution rights to the Budweiser group of brands in Australia and New Zealand, and distribution of Staropramen in New Zealand.

Lion Nathan's first cider brands are launched - Tooheys Extra Dry 5 Seeds in Australia and Mac's Isaac's Cider in New Zealand.

2008

Lion Nathan acquires iconic Tasmanian brewer J. Boag & Son.

Dairy Farmers members overwhelmingly support the National Foods offer to acquire the Co-operative, with a change of ownership occurring on 27 November 2008. In September, National Foods acquires Hillwood Cheese, specialists in fetta style cheeses.

Lion Nathan acquires US wine import company, Cumulus Wines, creating Lion Nathan Wine – incorporating the company's owned wine brands and distribution company Fine Wine Partners.

2007

San Miguel Corporation announces the sale of 100 per cent of National Foods to Kirin Holdings Company Limited.

Lion Nathan acquires Inner Circle Rum brand and distillery.

2006

National Foods acquires the Lactos Pty Ltd business, formerly a subsidiary of Bongrain SA, to develop and grow its Cheese and Gourmet Foods division.

2005

San Miguel subsidiary Berri Limited merges with National Foods, combining leading brands Berri, Daily Juice, Australian Fresh, Just Juice and many more into one portfolio.

Fine Wine Partners, a joint venture between fine wine distributors Distinguished Vineyards and Tucker Seabrook, is established in Australia.

2004

Heineken and Lion Nathan establish a joint venture – Heineken Lion – to brew, market and distribute Heineken in Australia.

National Foods is acquired by San Miguel Corporation, following an unsuccessful takeover bid by Fonterra Co-operative Group from New Zealand.

Following a competitive sale process, Lion Nathan sells the Chinese beer business to China Resources Breweries.

2003

National Foods acquires an ambient dairy beverage plant in Cobden in Victoria. The national supermarket house brand milk supply contract is awarded to National Foods for a further three years.

Bacardi-Martini and Lion Nathan establish a joint venture – Bacardi Lion – to market and distribute a range of spirit brands in Australia.

2001/2002

National Foods enters the specialty cheese and gourmet foods market with the acquisition of the King Island Dairy Company. A new Vitasoy soy beverage plant at Wodonga Victoria is opened.

National Foods wins the first national supermarket house brand milk contract, the largest grocery foods contract in Australia.

Wither Hills - Created in the VineyardLion Nathan purchases a controlling interest in premium Australian wine companies Petaluma and Banksia, with brands including Petaluma, Stonier, Croser, Mitchelton, Knappstein, Tatachilla, St Hallett and Oregon-based Argyle Wines. A year later, it acquires New Zealand wine company Wither Hills.

2000

Australia's milk industry is deregulated. National Foods becomes the national market leader in flavoured milk with the acquisition of the Big M brand.

Lion Nathan shifts its domicile and primary stock exchange listing to Australia.