Global ice cream company Froneri has purchased Tip Top from Fonterra for $380 million.
Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell said the sale was a bittersweet moment for Fonterra.
It sold the brand because the business had "reached maturity" as an investment for the co-operative.
"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.”
Fonterra will still supply the milk for the ice cream brand, which also produces Kāpiti, Trumpet and Popsicle products.
“One of the big attractions for Froneri is the fact that Tip Top and Kāpiti ice cream both use fresh milk and cream, from New Zealand grass-fed cows. We’ve signed an agreement with the new owners to supply milk which ensures that Fonterra farmers will continue to be part of the Tip Top story," said Hurrell.
“We will also retain full global ownership of the Kāpiti brand and will be licencing its use for ice cream to Froneri. This means our popular Kāpiti cheese isn’t going anywhere."
Tip Top was started by Albert Hayman and Len Malaghanin in 1936, who opened a Wellington ice cream parlour, and eventually opened the Auckland Mount Wellington factory in 1962.
The Tip Top name and its operations, including the Mount Wellington factory will be maintained.