HAIN Celestial Group has completed the strategic sale of Tilda, a premium basmati and speciality rice brand, to Spanish company Ebro Foods for $342 million.
Hain Celestial expects to use a portion of the proceeds to pay off its debt and is evaluating distribution alternatives for the remainder to maximise value to shareholders, the company said in a statement.
Mark L Schiller, Hain Celestial’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Tilda has been a strong business for us, primarily in the UK, and under the new strategic ownership, we expect the brand to continue to thrive.
“We believe this transaction represents a significant premium to a majority of other European food and global rice and pasta industry transactions over the last several years. Furthermore, this divestiture will enable us to reduce our exposure to marketplace disruption associated with the uncertainty of Brexit and additional future potential foreign currency fluctuations.”
Tilda is a premium rice brand of international repute, primarily for basmati rice. It is present in several countries, with particular renown and importance in the UK market.
It has two plants in Rainham (UK) and a workforce of 326 employees. Its net sales in the past year, up to June 2019, totalled £152.6m, 60 per cent of which were in the UK and 92 per cent from basmati sales.
Through this acquisition, Ebro will not only enhance its portfolio of global premium brands in the rice sector but also acquire a strong foothold in the British market, where it has to date only had a token presence.