Senior management of natural baby food company Rafferty’s Garden and private equity firm Anacacia Capital and Saleslink Australasia are investing in Rafferty’s Garden in a management buyout.
Rafferty’s Garden has pioneered pouches and “mess free” packaging for baby food. It has focused on improved nutrition through use of premium and organic ingredients and specialised production techniques, avoiding many additives. Sales Link Australasia conducts national account management, field merchandising and order management for supermarkets and department stores.
Anacacia Capital’s investment in the company occurs at a time when the market for premium quality baby products is starting to take off. In January, IBISWorld predicted baby products would experience strong growth this year, in its list of the top 10 growth industries for 2010.
Anacacia approached founder Adrian Pike after research convinced the private equity firm Rafferty’s Garden had growth potential. The company, believed to have turnover of more than $25 million a year, sells through more than 2000 stores in Australia and exports to ten countries.
Rafferty’s Garden had record growth in 2010 and claims to be the second largest and fastest growing baby food business in Australia. The new investors replace some silent investors that helped seed Rafferty’s Garden alongside the founder.
The deal is Anacacia’s eighth investment or acquisition since the fund was launched in 2007. The other investments or acquisitions are Appen, Lomb, Home Appliances, IAG Appliances, Norwest, McLean and Oceania. Ern Pope and Jeremy Samuel of Anacacia are non-executive directors on the Rafferty’s board. Sales Link chief executive officer, Con Athans, is also a non-executive director. Transaction advisers include Thomsons Lawyers, PKF, Ernst & Young, Sainsbury Logan & Williams and Marsh.
© Australian Financial Review 2010