Internationally-recognised food processing business Rhodes Food Group (RFG) has concluded a transaction whereby senior management, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and Capitalworks acquired 100% of the company from the previous shareholders.
From 1 October 2012 senior management will own a significant stake in the business which they believe, with strong financial and strategic backing from new investors, will take advantage of the many growth opportunities on offer in the defensive consumer foods market.
Rhodes Food Group Managing Director, Bruce Henderson, says that the transaction was motivated by the previous majority shareholder’s decision to exit the business to bring about better diversity in their investment portfolio and by a desire by management to participate in the equity of the business.
“We welcome our new partners’ financial investor backing and fresh strategic perspectives, which will allow us to focus on our vision of being the preferred supplier of quality food products. RFG has enjoyed good growth over the years and has developed into a significant player in the South African and international food industries. Our brands enjoy healthy recognition and are trusted by consumers,” says Henderson.
The deal is structured in line with Capitalworks’s investment philosophy of building successful businesses through strong entrepreneurial partnerships with competent management teams. It is the South African-based alternative asset manager’s first foray into the consumer foods space.
RFG boasts an annual turnover of approximately R2 billion and prides itself on being the leading producer of high quality prepared meal solutions, dairy products, pies and premium canned foods. The company can trace its South African origins to the late 1800s.
“With its 100-year plus history, Rhodes Food Group is an integral part of the South African consumer food landscape,” says Capitalworks partner, Garth Willis. “We will be delighted to provide the strategic and operational support that will further establish its footprint nationwide. ”
Capitalworks CEO, Chad Smart, elaborates further: “The transaction provides a welcome addition to our portfolio of attractive investments in sectors such as building materials, affordable housing, recycling, healthcare, and mining resources.”
“As far as our staff, clients and suppliers are concerned, it is business as usual at Rhodes Food Group,” concludes Henderson. “Each of our stakeholders shares the vision of going into a new era and growing the business into a significant force in the international food industry.”
All parties to the transaction are delighted to be investing in a sector that provides a direct link with consumers through the consumer foods market. They believe that RFG will make a positive contribution to the overall health of the South African economy.