Kerry buys three firms for €645m

Kerry Group has boosted its core ingredients and flavours business and upped its presence in the growing nutritional solutions market, via the purchase of three US businesses for a combined $735m (€645m).

The Tralee-based food group yesterday announced the acquisitions of Red Arrow Products, Island Oasis, and Wellmune, with the total consideration being financed from Kerry’s existing credit lines.

While not household names, each company is a recognised leader in the ingredients sector, and enjoys significant international reach.

Red Arrow is a leading supplier of natural smoke flavours and savoury grill flavours to various food companies, while Island Oasis is a leading provider of premium cocktail mixes and “customised beverage solutions”.

Wellmune, meanwhile, has been bought from US pharmaceutical company Biothera and is a business which produces and markets immune system- strengthening ingredients for food and beverage products.

The companies had combined revenues of $301m, last year, with earnings (on an ebitda basis) amounting to $59m in total.

“The acquisitions of Red Arrow, Island Oasis, and Wellmune, as well as significantly expanding our taste and nutritional solutions portfolio, bring a number of important innovative technology platforms to Kerry,” said Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy.

“Complementing our existing taste and nutrition leadership positioning and growth strategies, the businesses being acquired present tremendous growth opportunities throughout Kerry’s global developed and developing markets.”

In August, at the time of Kerry’s first-half results, Mr McCarthy said the group had been eyeing up a number of acquisition opportunities and was likely to top €500m in full-year spend in 2015.

While that figure has now been comfortably exceeded, it does not necessarily mean that Kerry is finished spending.

A spokesperson for Kerry said: “We have a very strong balance sheet and can continue to grow both organically and via acquisition.

“We have a very strong balance sheet and can continue to grow both organically and via acquisition.”


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