Australia’s Freedom Foods Group is to acquire nutrition products manufacturer Crankt Protein in a deal valued in gross terms at AUD3.5m (US$2.5m).

After deductions for working capital loans and other offsets, the net cash consideration payable is AUD2.3m, Sydney-listed Freedom Foods said in a statement, adding that the gross purchase price equates to a price-to-gross-sales multiple of 0.5x based on fiscal 2019 forecast sales.

Located in New South Wales, Crankt produces protein snack bars and shakes, which are sold through petrol and convenience outlets, fitness retailers and grocers in Australia and New Zealand. In the current fiscal year, petrol and convenience channels in Australia accounted for 50% of total Crankt brand sales, Freedom Foods noted.

Back in February, Freedom Foods announced it had secured an agreement to distribute the Crankt sports nutrition brand in Australia for a minimum of three years, along with an option to buy the brand “based on sales performance”.

“The Crankt brand provides for an everyday mainstream consumer proposition, aligned to the Freedom Foods Vital Strength brand, which is positioned as a premium brand in the sports and nutrition category,” Freedom Foods said today (13 August).

“Importantly, the Crankt brand provides a unique vertical integration to Freedom Foods’ expanding packaging capabilities in beverage and bar formats and sourcing of protein ingredients from internal dairy nutritional capabilities coming online at Shepparton in early 2019.”

In March, Freedom Foods revealed it was investing in its Shepparton facility north-east of Melbourne and also at a plant in Ingleburn, and said the latter would help the company expand its branded range into Australia’s retail, convenience, petrol and foodservice channels.   

And the same month, the firm said it would issue AUD200m of equity to fund capital expenditure and possible acquisitions, and to “accelerate” the company’s growth strategy”.