Australia’s PEP buys New Zealand snacks

The Sydney-based private equity firm has carried out its second deal of the week, acquiring New Zealand biscuit and snack brand business Griffin’s Foods.

Australia’s private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) has agreed to acquire New Zealand snack foods business Griffin’s Foods from Danone Asia.

The price tag of NZ$385 million ($235m; €194m) represents 8x Griffin’s Foods’ pro forma EBITDA, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

PEP managing director Rickard Gardell said in a statement: “Griffin’s is a premium New Zealand business with a stable of iconic brands and a strong consumer franchise in the New Zealand market.”

Griffin’s Foods manufactures and retails biscuit brand Griffin’s as well as savoury snacks brand Eta. The company has current annual net sales of NZ$176 million, according to a statement from PEP.

The latest acquisition follows PEP’s agreement in December to acquire New Zealand poultry and animal feeds business Tegel Foods from global food group Heinz, and prior to that, WorldWide Restaurant Concepts, a group that operates and franchises 302 Sizzler restaurants and 112 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

Earlier this week, PEP made five times its money on the sale of Australian financial services platform provider Oasis Asset Management to ING Australia for AU$54 million ($38.4 million; €31.9 million). In February, the firm raised a total of AU1.2 billion in capital for its third fund, PEP III. The fund comprised a core fund of AU$800 million, focused on medium-sized deals and a AU$400 million side vehicle aimed at larger deals.