Australia

Vegemite back in Australian ownership after A$460m Bega deal

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Media captionVegemite is back under Australian ownership after it is sold by US food giant Mondelez.

Vegemite will return to Australian ownership after Bega Cheese agreed to buy a range of well-known food brands in a deal worth A$460m (£280m; $345m).

Bega said it would acquire Vegemite, ZoOSH mayonnaise and Bonox beef extract from Mondelez International.

The deal will also give the dairy producer the right to use the Kraft brand under licence.

Mondelez announced it would now focus on "core brands" in Australia and New Zealand including Cadbury and Oreos.

'Wonderful heritage'

Vegemite - a dark-coloured, Vitamin-B rich, bitter but apparently addictive yeast extract - is a national icon.

Fans of Vegemite spread it on sandwiches or toast, and sometimes mix it with cheese, salad and peanut butter.

"The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting," Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said.

For decades, Australians bemoaned the loss the brand to the US-owned Kraft in 1935, though it is still manufactured in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Mondelez took control of the brand in 2012 after a restructuring at Kraft.

Mondelez International vice president Amanda Banfield said: "It's been a privilege stewarding this brand, which is found in almost every Australian household and is part of the fabric of the nation."

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