Premium yogurt maker Nomadic Dairy has been snapped up by two investment firms in a €29m (£24.9m) deal.
BiaVest will hold 54% of the County Donegal-based producer, while Development Capital have taken the remaining share.
The co-investment partnership – funded by the Bank of Ireland – positions Nomadic Dairy to build on its strong year-on-year growth since its inception in 1998, with plans for NPD to accelerate organic expansion as well as bolt-on acquisitions.
Nomadic’s range of yoghurts and dairy-based drinks are stocked by all big four supermarket chains, Co-op, Boots, WH Smith, McColl’s and the majority of the symbol groups in the UK, where it generates 80% of its revenues. The brand is also sold in the major retailers, c-stores and forecourts in its domestic Irish market.
The business has doubled unit sales every five years since 2010, with revenues up by more than 50% in the past four years as consumer demand for healthier products boomed.
Managing director Alan Cunningham and his executive team will remain with the business following the deal to work with the new owners on the next stage of its development.
BiaVest was founded by food industry executives Hilliard Lombard, formerly a CEO at Valeo Foods Ireland, and David McKernan, who founded the coffee roaster and retailer Java Republic.
Established in 2013 by Andrew Bourg and Sinead Heaney, Development Capital is a €75m development and growth capital SME fund backed by Irish and international investors.
Lombard said: “Nomadic Dairy is Donegal to its core but, like BiaVest, is international in its outlook.
“We’re investing alongside Development Capital and bringing a shared passion for high-quality, nutritious food products and the ambition to bring them to new markets and new consumers.”
Bourg added: “Alan and the Nomadic team have consistently delivered strong growth in an attractive and growing market, which has further exciting growth potential.”
The investment partners paid €23m upfront for Nomadic, with up to another €6m dependent on financial performance targets in 2022.