Hart family food business Walter & Wild has bought Emerald Foods Group for an undisclosed amount.
The business, jointly owned by rich listers Graeme and Harry Hart, will bring premium ice cream brands New Zealand Natural, Killinchy Gold, Zilch and Chateau, along with the licence to operate the Movenpick brand in New Zealand, into the fold alongside Walter & Wild's portfolio of supermarket brands Hubbard's, Gregg's, Aunt Betty's, I Love Food, Hansells and Alfa One.
Walter & Wild founder and owner Harry Hart said the acquisition was significant for the business, which was founded through the acquisition of Hubbard Foods, Hansells Food Group, Greggs and I Love Food.
The acquisition will bring New Zealand-founded Emerald Foods Group back into New Zealand ownership after it was sold to a Hong Kong-based entity in 2015. It will bring the Walter & Wild team to around 350 staff spread across New Zealand and Australia.
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"This is a major acquisition for our business and an avenue into an attractive growth sector of the FMCG, foodservice and retail markets," Hart said in a statement.
"It is a good news story, bringing a New Zealand-founded business with well-loved brands back into New Zealand ownership."
Isi Tupou, chief operating officer of Walter & Wild, said the acquisition was "a highly positive result for both businesses".
"As always, we are committed to providing high-quality products at high service levels for all customers and distribution channels, while maintaining strong commercial relationships with our suppliers."
Emerald Foods was estimated to have generated between $60-80 million in annual revenue, according to a report by Coriolis in 2018.
Companies Office records show the ultimate owners of Walter & Wild are Harry Hart and his father Graeme. Harry Hart owns 33 per cent of the company, while Graeme owns the remaining 67 per cent majority stake.