Daniels Group takeover will spark product swap

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Organic food Covent garden

Daniels could now expand overseas
Daniels could now expand overseas
Hain Celestial’s acquisition of Daniels Group for £144M would allow it to introduce US brands to the UK market and give Daniels the scale to expand in Europe and across the Atlantic.

That’s the verdict of all parties involved in the takeover. “I am looking forward to working with Hain Celestial UK’s management team to accelerate the growth of the company’s natural and organic products, which complement the Daniels Group’s chilled product portfolio​,” said Rob Burnett, boss of Daniels and now chief executive of Hain Celestial UK, in a press statement after news of the acquisition was confirmed yesterday.

Global brands

Hain has two UK manufacturing sites in Luton and Fakenham and is best known in the UK for its Linda McCartney range of frozen vegetarian foods. Its US brands include Celestial Seasonings tea, Terra Chips savoury snacks and Earth’s Best organic baby food. Daniels’ brands include New Covent Garden Soup and Johnsons’ fruit juices.

We believe the acquisition will also provide us with scale in our international operations to allow us to introduce some of our existing global brands, including Rice Dream [dairy free drinks], Celestial Seasonings [teas], Earth’s Best [organic baby food], Terra Chips [savoury snacks] and Sensible Portions [healthy snacks]​,” said Irwin Simon, global president and chief executive of Hain Celestial.

We think there is a lot of opportunity to bring Daniels' expertise in fresh soups and desserts to the US for consumers looking for fresh, natural soups instead of canned soups​.” Hain is a big supplier of Whole Foods Market stores in the US and the chain is beginning to establish itself in the UK, so could offer future potential, he said.

For example, Johnsons’ juices were already sold to UK foodservice outlets and that could open the door for Hain snacks in that sector.

Spayne Lindsay & Co - the independent financial firm advising on the takeover - said it gave Hain Celestial UK a senior management team, which it had previously lacked. It also gave it established access to the £45bn chilled and fresh food sector, which was growing fast at around 5% per annum. The category’s success explained why it had been the scene of so much recent acquisitive interest, said John Spayne, partner at Spayne Lindsay.

Growing fast

He told Food Manufacture.co.uk: “It’s where the growth is, although not necessarily the margin. Where there are brands that Hain has, there may be a way to leverage them in the chilled category​,” said Spayne. “Could one take the Linda McCartney brand and apply it to the chilled category through Daniels' chilled know-how?” he asked

The acquisition will enable Daniels to consolidate purchasing, procurement, warehousing and distribution activities. To aid expansion, the company was looking at its use of Hain’s Fakenham and Luton factories. “The idea is to keep Fakenham pretty much as is, but to try to put more volume through Fakenham,​” said Spayne.

Spayne also said that once the dust had settled after the Daniels takeover, the firm could be on the lookout for further acquisitions. “Daniels gets a well-capitalised, ambitious new owner that won’t think twice about further deals,” He added.

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