Freedom Foods bulks up snacks, cereals and UHT beverages

Listed Australian ‘free-from’ breakfast foods, snacks and beverages maker Freedom Foods Group Limited has announced a $65 million capital raising aimed at funding Freedom Food’s growth strategy.

This includes key initiatives such as the acquisition of oat-based cereal and snack manufacturer Popina for around $35 million and construction of a new UHT processing facility for Freedom Foods at Ingelburn NSW.

Freedom Foods has a large portfolio of brands and operations found in supermarket, convenience and health food channels.

These include Freedom Foods, Paramount and Brunswick brands, which operate in canned sardines and salmon, Australia’s Own Organics, and Almond Breeze almond milk.

“Popina has a 30 year operating history and is a recognised leader in cluster format Cereals and snacks in Australia, with operations based in Dandenong, Victoria. The acquisition will allow Freedom to have dual manufacturing capability in both allergen free and nut based capabilities and integration opportunities across its milling and ingredients operations,” Freedom Foods said.

The capital raising news came as Freedom Foods, the largest shareholder (17.86%) in New Zealand’s a2 Milk Company, reaped $28 million from selling down its stake in a2 Milk, reducing its holding to just over 10%.

Freedom Foods will retain a strategic stake of 10.4% of a2 Milk’s shares and will continue to provide a2 Milk with production capabilities and milk supply.

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