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May 23, 2019

Freedom Foods Group eyes ingredients expansion

Australia-based Freedom Foods Group is aiming to expand one of its divisions through investment raised by issuing more shares in the business.

By Dean Best

Australia-based Freedom Foods Group is aiming to expand one of its divisions through investment raised by issuing more shares in the business.

Freedom Foods wants to attract AUD130m (US$88.1m) and pump most of the cash into its nutritional ingredients business, which makes ingredients including micellar casein and lactoferrin.

The company is offering new shares to existing investors to raise AUD65m and is looking to bank the same amount through an institutional placement of shares on the market.

The equity raising is being supported by “cornerstone investor” Arrovest, which is a company of Perich Group and which is the largest shareholder in Freedom Foods.

The company said raising the cash would help it “accelerate” capital expenditure on its nutritional ingredients business, including producing new types of protein.

Nutritional ingredients is a relatively new area for Freedom Foods, which markets plant-based, dairy, cereal and seafood products. It said “increased dairy milk throughput above plan … provides an opportunity to expand nutritionals capability to further increase sales and earnings”.

Alongside news of the equity raising, Freedom Foods said it expects its annual sales to hit AUD480-490m in the year to the end of June, up 36-38% on the previous 12 months.

Last year, Freedom Foods issued AUD200m worth of equity to fund capital expenditure and possible acquisitions.

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