Universal Robina buys Australia’s leading salty snacks food company
The Gokongweis’ Universal Robina Corporation (URC) today said it is buying Australia’s Consolidated Snacks Pty Ltd that trades under the name Snackbrands Australia for AU$600 million in a cash-free, debt free deal.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Universal Robina said its wholly owned offshore subsidiary, URC International Company Ltd, is acquiring 100 percent of the shares of Snackbrands Australia, a leading snack foods company in Australia that owns the brands Kettles, Thins, CC’s, and Cheezels.
The acquisition will give Universal Robina a bigger footprint in Oceania, with Snackfoods Australia providing it a solid anchor and complement its purchase of New Zealand’s number one snackfoods company, Griffin’s.
“URC in the past three years has started to look for strategic options on acquisitions or partnerships given the emerging competitive challenges being brought upon by the lifting of trade barriers and the attractiveness of the region where we operate,” Universal Robina president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said.
“While we continue to push for innovation as an anchor to sustain our growth, the opportunity came at the right time to acquire a company like Snackbrands.”
“SBA (Snackbrands Australia) is delighted to be a part of the URC family moving forward. As our business has grown we have begun to turn our eyes to new markets and new product segments to be able to leverage our portfolio of much loved brands.
It was clear that a regional partnership would accelerate our plans in both these areas and the approach by URC could not have been better timed,” Snackbrands Australia CEO Paul Musgrave said.
“As a business with a strong family heritage and values that closely align with our own we felt immediately comfortable with URC. We will look to leverage our new relationship to further grow our home market whilst accelerating our export potential.”
It is unclear how the debt-free, cash-free transaction will be done or if it involved a swapping of shares.
The disclosure said, however, that the transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and that it is expected to close by September 30, 2016 subject to regulatory approvals.