Castle Harlan creates global malt producer

Caste Harlan and its Australian affiliate CHAMP have merged several barley malting companies to form a new global company with $400 million in revenues.

Castle Harlan and CHAMP Private Equity, its affiliate based in Sydney, Australia, announced today several acquisitions of malting companies around the world. The firms also disclosed their intention to merge all of the newly-acquired companies into a new global malting operation, United Malt Holdings.

The two firms have jointly acquired US-based Great Western Malting, Canada Malting Company, Australia-based Barrett Burston Malting and a 60 percent interest in UK-based Bairds Malt.

The businesses were acquired from US-based Conagra Foods and South Africa-based Tiger Brands, which each owned half of the group previously operating under the name C&T Malt. The firms did not disclose how much they paid for the four companies.

Together the four malting companies have revenues in excess of $400 million (€315 million) and have approximately one million tons of malt production capacity in 14 plants in four countries, Castle Harlan said.

The move marks the latest effort to establish powerful global brewers. Companies such as SAB Miller, Scottish Newscastle and Anheuser Busch have become global operators, and UMH will likely have the global position to compete with them.

CHAMP Private Equity was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between New York-based Castle Harlan and Australian Mezzanine Investments. The firm raised A$950 million (€566 million) for its second buyout fund, CHAMP II, last August.