MELVILLE, N.Y., June 13, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN) today announced the acquisition of the Linda McCartney(R) brand (under license) frozen meat-free business from the H. J. Heinz Company, including the manufacturing facility based in Fakenham, England. A pioneer and leader in the meat-free category with its range of sausages, ready meals, and pastry products, the Linda McCartney range is recognized for its vegetarian credentials while providing healthy and tasty meal solutions.
"We now have the premier meat-free brand which will further support our expansion of natural and organic products. Acquiring the Linda McCartney range of vegetarian products reinforces our commitment to growing in this marketplace," said Irwin D. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hain Celestial Group. "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with The McCartney Family in expanding the Linda McCartney frozen meat-free business in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe as well as throughout North America."
In a statement released by the McCartney Family, they commented, "We are delighted to be joining together with Hain Celestial, a leading light in organic, natural products, to produce an even better range of foods than we have ever made before. We believe that the visions of both our companies fit perfectly with our desire to encourage more and more people to eat pure, vegetarian food. It was this desire that motivated Linda when she started Linda McCartney Foods originally and we hope to continue her good work and in doing so, her legacy."
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be accretive to the earnings of Hain Celestial during its fiscal year 2007. In May Hain Celestial announced the acquisition of the Fresh Prepared Foods Business in Luton, England from Heinz. Hain Celestial has built a European presence with its natural and organic brands including Celestial Seasonings(R), Terra Chips(R), Soy Dream(R), Rice Dream(R), Natumi(R), Lima(R), Grains Noirs(R) and Biomarche(TM), and is committed to creating and promoting A Healthy Way of Life(TM).
The Linda McCartney brand is licensed under an agreement with Linda Enterprises Limited.
The Hain Celestial Group
The Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) , headquartered in Melville, NY, is a leading natural and organic food and personal care products company in North America and Europe. Hain Celestial participates in almost all natural food categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings(R), Terra Chips(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), Health Valley(R), WestSoy(R), Earth's Best(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), DeBoles(R), Hain Pure Foods(R), FreeBird(TM), Hollywood(R), Spectrum Naturals(R), Spectrum Essentials(R), Walnut Acres Organic(TM), Imagine Foods(R), Rice Dream(R), Soy Dream(R), Rosetto(R), Ethnic Gourmet(R), Yves Veggie Cuisine(R), Lima(R), Biomarche(TM), Grains Noirs(R), Natumi(R), JASON(R), Zia(R) Natural Skincare, Queen Helene(R), Batherapy(R) and Footherapy(R). For more information, visit http://www.hain-celestial.com .
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within and constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward- looking statements. These risks include but are not limited to general economic and business conditions; the ability to implement business and acquisition strategies and integrate acquisitions; competition; retention of key personnel; compliance with government regulations and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are current as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.