Yumi’s Quality Foods has continued its rapid expansion in the chilled food sector with the takeover of Australian Vegie Gourmet.
Yumi’s chief executive Michael Friedman said the deal was the company’s first acquisition, driven by its private equity major shareholder, Anacacia Capital.
“As a parent company, they are always on the lookout for opportunities, which as a small-business owner I didn’t do as I was too busy working in the business,” he said.
“A lot of work goes into an acquisition and Anacacia has done a great job.
“Vegie Gourmet is a great fit for us.”
Yumi’s, one of Australia’s fastest-growing processed food businesses, supplies all the major Australian grocery chains and a growing number of food service outlets and export markets. Vegie Gourmet develops and manufactures sauces, sachets, condiments, dips and falafels, mainly for the food services sector and quick-service restaurants.
Mr Friedman said the target would maintain its name for now but the sales teams from both brands would work together, with synergies to be realised.
He also highlighted that Vegie Gourmet had a wealth of experience in new product development and had a library of more than 100 recipes ready to go. “We look forward to using our increased capabilities to support our grocery and food service customers,” he said.
The company would not disclose the value of the deal but Anacacia typically invests in businesses with revenues between $20m and $200m. Mr Friedman said future acquisitions were possible but he would leave that to his private equity backer.
“If that is what Anacacia wants, we’ll gear up and do that. They are always looking at other opportunities,” Mr Friedman said.
Jeremy Samuel, Anacacia’s managing director, and Ernest Pope, who is on Anacacia’s advisory council and is the former chief of Nestle Australia, sit on Yumi’s board alongside Mr Friedman.
Anacacia owns about 60 per cent of Yumi’s, with the company founders, the Friedman family, and the management team owning the balance.
Yumi’s has grown to control almost 20 per cent share of the growing chilled dip market in Australia, supplying Coles and Woolworths.
Mr Friedman said the company had expanded considerably since Anacacia Capital stepped in with a majority stake at the start of 2014.
“We have gone national with many more products and this year we had a record year again, with double-digit growth.”
The Yumi’s founder said the company started small, with low visibility to consumers.
“We now have the presence with shelf space and people appreciate the quality and the real ingredients we put in the dip,” he said. “We buy fresh vegetables from the market and then cook … them in ovens like you would if you tried to make a dip at home.