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R&R Ice Cream boasts 'unique presence' through Australian Peters deal

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By Mark Astley+

Last updated on 27-May-2014 at 16:08 GMT

Europe's largest private label ice cream manufacturer R&R has acquired Australian rival Peters Food Group - a deal that gives it a "unique presence in the European and Australian markets."

Earlier today, Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) announced the sale of its Australian ice cream business Peters, which it acquired from Nestlé in June 2012, to British firm R&R.

The sale price was not disclosed by PEP, but the Australian private equity firm was reportedly demanding in the region of AU$450m (US$419m, €305m).

The deal, financed by R&R's French private equity owner PAI Partners, will see the Yorkshire-based ice cream maker acquire Peters and the company's wide range of of household Australian ice cream brands.

R&R manufactures private label ice cream for the likes of Asda, Tesco, and Carrefour, and boasts a strong branded portfolio, which includes Mondelez, Nestlé, Disney, Skinny Cow, Kelly's of Cornwall, and YooMoo.

Ice cream manufactured at R&R's nine plants across Europe can be found in freezers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Ireland.

Through the deal, R&R hopes to further establish its position as a global player "with a unique presence in the European and Australian markets and significantly increased potential for international expansion."

"Significant transformation"

PEP, Australia's largest private equity firm, acquired Peters from Nestlé in June 2012 for an undisclosed sum.

Since then, Peters has undergone a "significant transformation" through investment by PEP in its core brands. CEO Stephen Audsley, who led Peters during this period, will remain at the helm.

In a statement unveiling the deal, R&R "committed to continuing to invest in Peters."

“We are delighted to have come to an agreement with Peters and PEP," said Ibrahim Najafi, CEO of R&R Ice Cream.

"Peters is an iconic Australian business and the leader in the Australian ice cream manufacturing market; it will be an exciting complement to R&R’s European presence. We look forward to working with Stephen and his team and accelerating our growth as one combined business.” 

Commenting, continuing CEO Audsley added: "With the backing of R&R, Peters will continue to invest in its market leading brands including Drumstick and Connoisseur and in its long history."

International footprint

R&R Ice Cream was acquired by Paris-based PAI Partners in June 2013 from Oaktree Capital Management.

As part of the deal, it also acquired British ice cream manufacturer, Frederick Dairies, for £49m ($76m, €58m).

Announcing the double deal in June, PAI outlined its ambitions in the UK and further afield.

"PAI will support R&R through its next phase of growth, investing in the expansion of the company's international footprint and renowned consumer brands," it said.

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