In a February 3 press release, natural and organic foods company Hain Celestial announced its acquisition of two separate European food companies, Danival SAS and GG UniqueFiber AS. Danival, based in France, manufactures over 200 branded food products that are certified organic by Ecocert. Norway-based GG UniqueFiber offers a line of natural grain products that are high in dietary fiber.
Hain already operates a few global brands, including Belgian food company Lima, which it acquired in 2002. “The strategic acquisition of the Danival branded organic product line complements the organic food line of our Lima brand in Europe, where organic products have experienced double-digit growth in recent years,” said Hain president and CEO Irwin Simon. Danival’s products are distributed throughout Western Europe. NBJ pegs sales of natural & organic food in Western Europe at $25.8 billion in 2008.
As for GG UniqueFiber, Hain looks to capitalize on continued consumer interest in high fiber products and their potential impact on cardiovascular and digestive health. “A strategic addition to our existing whole grain and high fiber products, GG UniqueFiber broadens Hain Celestial's offerings in this expanding category, as dietary fiber may help manage weight and maintain healthy cholesterol to support cardiovascular function for overall good health," Simon added.
In 2010, Danival brought in sales of about $20 million, while GG UniqueFiber garnered approximately $2 million, according to the Hain press release. The acquisition financials were not disclosed.
NBJ Bottom Line
Hain Celestial is one company that has made its mark with aggressive acquisitions, and now looks to expand its reach globally. Hain already distributes its Celestial Seasonings teas worldwide, as well as operating Lima and snack company Terra on the ground in Europe.
The company had rough going in Europe last year, but seems to be getting back to form. “Our UK business was a good-sized loss for us last year,” Hain’s Simon told NBJ in an interview this past summer. “We've now got the business in a better position. In the long term, do we keep it? I don't know, but we're looking for a lot better performance this year. The overall economy there is getting better, we consolidated some businesses, and we've got a hard-nosed manager running operations now. We'll get it on track.”
Revenue-generation certainly seems back on track, as the company’s sales and profits continue to rise. On February 3, Hain also announced second-quarter earnings for fiscal 2011. Revenues reached $292 million, up 21% over Q2 2010, and net profits rose by 46% over the year-ago quarter. Sales and profits are up against easy comps, but Hain’s continued focus on acquisition suggests that any suffering from a year ago is long gone.
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