Rhodes Food Group is to strengthen its position in the country’s growing pie and pastry market with the acquisition of KwaZulu-Natal based producer Ma Baker Pies for R212 million.
Ma Baker is the eighth and largest acquisition made by Rhodes Food Group since listing in 2014, with the acquisitions totaling R900 million.
Ma Baker Pies of Pietermaritzburg
Ma Baker produces pies, pastries and snacking products at its manufacturing facilities in Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg. Established in 1987, Ma Baker has shown strong organic growth as well as acquiring two regional competitors over the past two decades. Products are sold and distributed nationally through distribution centres in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
Rhodes Food Group chief executive officer Bruce Henderson said the group’s strategy is to complement organic growth by acquiring food producers which will strengthen existing product categories or enable entry into complementary products.
“Ma Baker is a well-established brand and a market leader in KwaZulu-Natal. The acquisition will strengthen our position in the pie market as well as diversifying our customer base and our geographic presence,” he said.
A Piece of the Pie
Rhodes entered the pie market in 2004 and produces a range of pies and pastries under its Magpie and Saint Pie brands at its facility in Aeroton, Gauteng. Rhodes also produces pies and pastries under private label for Woolworths and Corner Bakery.
Henderson said the acquisition will not only create integration synergies in the pie business but also in the snacking and bakery operations with Alibaba Foods and General Mills SA which have been acquired by Rhodes over the past year. Alibaba Foods manufactures halaal Eastern snacks and General Mills produces dry and frozen bakery products.
Ma Baker generated revenue of R248 million and EBITDA of R24 million in its latest financial year. The acquisition, which will be settled in cash, is subject to a due diligence process and competition approval.