The company that makes Australia’s iconic FourN’Twenty meat pie was sold to a Chinese private equity firm last month, continuing a trend of Aussie brands bought by overseas interests.

The sale of Patties Foods, which also makes Nanna’s and Herbert Adams pies, represents a blow for people who want profits from what they buy to stay in Australia.

Other brands to have become foreign-owned in recent years include Bundaberg Rum, Victoria Bitter, Bonds, Tim Tams, Billabong and even Speedo.

Qantas is an exception to the trend because government rules stipulate that it cannot be more than 49 per cent owned by “foreign persons”.

The airline is believed to be near that limit.

Mining company BHP also has a similar restriction.

Patties Foods, which started making Herbert Adams pies in Australia 114 years ago, was last month bought by Asian conglomerate Pacific Alliance Group (PAG), one of the largest private equity firms in Hong Kong.

The exact deal to acquire Patties, whose headquarters are in Bairnsdale Victoria, was not disclosed but was more than $500million, according to the Daily Mail.

PAG had already bought Red Rooster, Oporto, and the WA-based Chicken Treat for a similar amount in 2019.

Patties Foods boss Paul Hitchcock said the sale would “unlock further investment and innovation” in the business.

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