Photo: froneri.com

UK-based Froneri has announced the acquisition of iconic New Zealand ice cream business Tip Top from global dairy co-operative Fonterra for NZ$380 million (£193 million).

Throughout its 80-year history, Tip Top has been owned by several international brands, and was incorporated into Fonterra in 2001.

“It’s been a privilege being the guardians of Tip Top, but it’s time to hand the baton to new owners. The well-loved brand needs continuing investment and focused ownership to be sustainable for generations to come. It’s not something we’re in a position to do right now,” said Miles Hurrell, chief executive of Fonterra.

Froneri said it will maintain Tip Top name and its operations, including the Auckland based factory site at Mount Wellington.

“Our consumers are at the heart of our business and we intend to invest in the Tip Top brands, products and manufacturing facility to ensure we continue to excite the market and New Zealanders with delicious high-quality ice cream made from fresh New Zealand milk and cream,” said Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of Froneri.

Tip Top employees will become part of Froneri as part of the deal. Froneri has confirmed that the Tip Top business will continue to be led by the existing management team.

Created in 2016 as a joint-venture between PAI Partners and Nestlé, Froneri is the third largest ice cream manufacturer in the world, selling a staple of well-known ice cream brands in 20 countries.