Nomad Foods to acquire Aunt Bessie’s

Nomad Foods has entered into an agreement to acquire Aunt Bessie’s from William Jackson & Son for approximately €240 million.

Aunt Bessie’s is a British-based frozen food company which manufactures, distributes and sells a range of branded frozen food products. The Aunt Bessie’s brand specialises in frozen Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes, which combine to represent the majority of its revenues. As a brand closely identified with roast dinners, Aunt Bessie’s will expand Nomad Foods’ portfolio into this major eating occasion. The acquisition includes a production facility in Hull, UK.

The acquisition of Aunt Bessie’s is also expected to further develop Nomad Foods’ portfolio in the UK, a strategically important market. The combination of Aunt Bessie’s, Birds Eye and recently acquired Goodfella’s is expected to result in a portfolio with significantly enhanced scale, greater diversification and more resources to accelerate category growth.

Stefan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods’ chief executive officer, says, “As our second accretive acquisition in 2018, Aunt Bessie’s represents another step toward our goal of transforming the frozen food category and building a portfolio of best-in-class food brands.

“Aunt Bessie’s significantly expands our presence within potatoes, one of the largest categories in frozen food, while adding another dimension to our growing portfolio in the United Kingdom.”

Noam Gottesman, Nomad Foods’ co-chairman and founder, adds, “The acquisition of Aunt Bessie’s illustrates the power of our value creation model which is fuelled by organic revenue growth, strong free cash flow and disciplined M&A. Similar to Goodfella’s Pizza, which we acquired earlier this year, Aunt Bessie’s is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings while providing complementary category exposure, synergy opportunities and new avenues for growth.

“We look forward to welcoming the Aunt Bessie’s team to our organisation and working together to build on their success.”

For its fiscal year ended April 2018, Aunt Bessie’s generated revenues and adjusted EBITDA of approximately €123m and €23m, respectively. The purchase price is expected to be funded through cash on hand and debt. The transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2018, subject to certain closing conditions including obtaining any necessary regulatory approvals.

Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor and Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal advisor to Nomad Foods on the transaction. Stamford Partners acted as financial advisor and Addleshaw Goddard acted as legal advisor to William Jackson & Son on the transaction.

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