INDIA – The packaged foods company, Everfoods has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a leading brand of fresh baked cookies, Cookie Man from Australian Foods (I) Pvt. Ltd, reported ET Retail.

While the amount of the transaction was not known, the acquisition expands Everfoods portfolio, adding a brand of fresh baked cookies in India, with a network of more than 50 stores and kiosks in shopping malls and airports across India.

Cookie Man, launched in India in January 2000 by Australian Foods (I) Pvt. Ltd, is a premium range of cookies made from unique recipes refined over 50 years at an exclusive R&D centre in Australia.

The Cookie Man acquisition will be managed by Modern Food, giving Everfoods exclusive rights to manufacture and manage the brand in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

Cookie Man’s CEO Anupam Saluja together with current leadership team will continue to work with the Modern and Everstone leadership post deal.

“Cookie Man, with its premium and authentic cookies positioning and an extremely strong equity base, is a good t for Everfoods and especially Modern,” said Deep Mishra, MD of Everstone Group, a private equity firm controlling Everfoods.

“This is the first of many acquisitions in the core and adjacent spaces that we are evaluating and looking to close.”

According to Everstone, cookies are the fastest growing segment in the biscuits category, expected to continue to grow at a double-digit rate.

Acquisitions in the non-bakery segment

Modern Food is a subsidiary of Everfoods engaged in bread and soft drinks manufacturing with iconic brands Rasika and Double Seven.

Last year, the company hinted at looking to acquire locally strong bakeries in its objective to touch US$146.1m revenues by fiscal 2021 from the current US$39.44 million.

It said that apart from the proposed acquisitions, it will also launch several products in the non-bakery segments to drive the revenue growth.
Plans included expanding its presence in markets in the North and West India by tying up with third party manufacturers or franchise agreements.