A Philippines company has been given consent to buy New Zealand's biggest snack maker, producer of the iconic ToffeePops, Gingernuts and MallowPuffs biscuits.
The Overseas Investment Office has released its October decisions and the biggest is consent for a $750 million takeover of the snack food company which makes the popular Griffin's biscuits range including Afghans, Cookie Bear Hundreds and Thousands, Melting Moments, Meal Mates, Cookie Bear Shrewsbury biscuits, the Huntley & Palmers crackers range and Eta brand snacks.
Universal Robina Corporation owns URC New Zealand Finance Company, 84.1 per cent Philippines public and 15.9 per cent Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, which got approval to buy NZ Snack Food Holdings, partly owned by Griffin's management and employees.
The Philippines business has a "growing presence in other Asian markets", the office said, while NZ Snack Food Holdings operates two plants for manufacturing biscuits and salty wrapped snacks.
The kiwi company began in Nelson in 1864. It recently bought the Nice & Natural Wrapped snacks business, making it the biggest snacks manufacturer here.
"It's been over 140 years since Griffin's first started in Nelson. In that time we have had an exciting journey. Follow our history from humble flour milling beginnings all the way to where we are today, one of New Zealand's largest branded food companies," Griffin's says.
The business has a biscuit factory in Papakura and savoury and wrapped snacks factory in Wiri but the Philippines business said it would grow Griffin's.
"The applicant envisages that the acquisition will provide an opportunity to acquire an established and well-managed fast moving consumer goods business in New Zealand and allow the applicant to acquire brands and intellectual property which can be utilised in the Applicant's existing markets," the office said.
In other consents, a $255 million deal was approved for Malaysia's Faber Group Berhad to buy Opus International Consulting, owned by UEM Group Berhad of Malaysia.
The Marlborough District Council is selling a leasehold interest in 24ha of Blenheim land to Australian-owned Treasury Wine Estates which intends to plant a vineyard there.
Connor Healthcare - 25 per cent Australian owned - has consent for a $125.1 million deal involving 2.2ha of land on Churchill Dr in Wellington's Crofton Downes and 1.3ha of land on Southland Rd, Hastings.
Helios Investment Australia got consent for a $44.1 million deal involving Auckland and Wellington land used for ANZ Terminals.
State-owned Solid Energy can sell a 248ha Southland dairy farm to Switzerland's Dynamic Asset Management Company for $8.6 million.
China's Hao Zeng and Qunhui Wu plan to migrate here so got consent for a $2.1 million deal involving 44ha of Whangarei land where they want to establish their new home.