Australian ginger company Buderim Ginger has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire the business assets of Maroochydore-based Upper Crust Pie Company.

Buderim Ginger’s chairman, John Ruscoe, said Upper Crust has long-standing supply relationships with national customers such as Brumby’s. It also manufactures and distributes products under its own brands, which include Supreme Pies, Country Bake and I Spy Pies.

“The acquisition is in line with our defined growth strategy to build a premium specialty foods business and will also generate synergistic benefits in some operational and administrative areas,” said Buderim’s managing director, Gerard O’Brien.

“It will assist in reducing our dependence on export markets where volatile currency fluctuations have adversely affected margins in recent years. It will also facilitate future growth in our tourism related business where our plan is to eventually consolidate the new business into our Yandina site creating a separate but side-by-side identity. This move will drive visitor growth and produce higher yield in the fast growing tourist market on the Sunshine Coast,” he added.

Buderim will initially acquire a 70% interest in the business for a consideration of A$2.5m (US$1.8m) cash and up to $0.7m in Buderim shares to be issued at a market price. The company will then acquire the remaining 30% of the business for cash in two equal tranches on 31 December 2005 and 2006.