USA – Global food and agri-business company, Olam International has secured a deal to acquire a 100% interest in leading Californian almond processor and ingredient manufacturer Hughson Nut Inc (HNI) for US$54 million.
Owned by APB Partners, LLC (APB), Hughson Nut ranks among the top five almond processors in California.
Backed by three almond grower-family shareholders of APB, HNI has built a strong customer franchise in the US and a growing customer base in the EU, Japan and Korea, which include branded food manufacturers, retailers and exporters.
The company has two primary processing facilities and recently opened an ingredients processing plant for the manufactures of almond ingredients, such as sliced and diced almonds and almond flour.
Olam said that the extensive processing capabilities of HNI will enable the company to offer a fully integrated solution across the almond value chain from the US, including processed whole nuts and value-added ingredients.
The company said that the acquisition of HNI is consistent with its strategic plan to offer differentiated solutions, such as ingredients and product innovation, and to target new customer segments in co-manufacturing, food service and ecommerce.
Olam’s Managing Director and CEO of Edible Nuts, Ashok Krishen explained:
“Our ambition is to grow Olam’s almond business into a vertically integrated player with a strong upstream presence in Australia and the US and direct participation in the primary and ingredient processing space that can add value to our customers.
“We see growing demand from consumers for healthy snacks and healthy plant protein – this is driving growth in new product applications and therefore the demand for almond ingredients, particularly in the US.
“Combining HNI’s processing capabilities with Olam’s global network and Edible Nuts expertise will enhance our offering to customers and enable us to meet growing demand, in and outside the U.S.,” he added.
HNI’s senior executive team and its 400 employees will continue to manage the existing operations and grow the ingredients business while leveraging and benefitting from the synergies and capabilities of the combined business.
Post Olam’s acquisition, the grower-family vendors will also continue to supply HNI with almonds for processing.
Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in November 2019. Olam said the acquisition will be funded by a combination of internal accruals and existing debt facilities.
Olam is one of the leading providers of edible nuts with global network of procurement, processing and distribution operations across a portfolio which includes almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts among others.