Rhodes Food continues its acquisition spree

Shortly after it spent R165m buying Cape juice company, Pacmar, Rhodes Food Group (RFG) has announced it’s to buy Boland Pulp‚ a puree maker‚ and Deemster‚ a company that focuses on pickled foods‚ as it looks to diversify its business.

Rhodes will pay R101.58m for Boland Pulp‚ which is based in Wellington in the Western Cape‚ and R25m for Deemster‚ which is based in Bethlehem in the Free State.

Rhodes CEO Bruce Henderson said Boland Pulp and Deemster were acquisitions which would complement Rhodes’s current product range.

“The acquisitions of Boland Pulp and Deemster are aligned with our strategy of expanding into new product categories which are complementary to our current product ranges‚” he said.

Boland Pulp produces bulk fruit and vegetable juices and purees for the domestic and regional markets. It exports to over 30 countries internationally.

In its 2014 financial year Boland Pulp generated revenue of R313m.

In 2009 Boland Pulp became pioneers in the pouch technology production arena in South Africa. It installed the first pouch-packaging filling plant in the country.

“The decision to build the pouch factory was based on trends witnessed in Europe and the USA where pouch technology are proving to be one of the most popular packaging solutions for various consumer products – no more heavy glass jars, tins or bulky plastic bottles – the spout-pouch has arrived,” says its website.

Henderson said Deemster was a much smaller business which had struggled to make profits but had “strong products”.

“We wanted to get into the pickled foods business and Deemster’s goods in this area are very attractive‚” Henderson said.

Rhodes listed on the JSE in October last year. It produces convenience foods for distribution in Southern African and global markets. The group’s product range already includes canned fruit‚ jam‚ vegetable and meat products‚ fresh ready-made meals‚ pies‚ pastries and dairy products. Some of the group’s brands are Magpie‚ Bull Brand‚ Hazeldene‚ Portobello and Trout Hall.

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