Suitors said to be looking to net salmon business Gourmet Food Holdings

Suitors said to be looking to net salmon business Gourmet Food Holdings

Gourmet Food Holdings, the Australian crackers-to-salmon supplier, is reportedly up for sale and private-equity owner CPE Capital is said to want binding offers to come in next month.

The Australian Financial Review, citing unnamed sources, said CPE Capital had drawn up a shortlist of suitors, which includes the private-equity firms KKR and Pacific Equity Partners, as well as Ritz crackers owner and US snacks giant Mondelez International.

The publication also said it had been told Associated British Foods, which owns Australian manufacturer George Weston Foods and Philippines-based food manufacturer Universal Robina Corp., were also preparing offers.

Approached by just-food, ABF declined to comment and Universal Robina Corp., which owns snacks businesses in Australia and New Zealand, brushed off the report.

"The report is not accurate," Mike Liwanag, senior vice president at Universal Robina Corp., said. "We don't have any involvement on this deal whatsoever."

just-food asked KKR and Mondelez for comment but had not received a response at the time of writing. Pacific Equity Partners and CPE Capital could not be reached outside of normal office hours.

CPE Capital bought acquired Gourmet Food Holdings three years ago. The investor, then known as CHAMP Private Equity, set up Gourmet Food Holdings through the merger of two Australian companies, MaxFoods and Fine Food Holdings.

Gourmet Food Holdings' brands include OB Finest crackers and Ocean Blue salmon.