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October 11, 2022

New Zealand’s Halo Food Co. in CEO transition as Danny Rotman resigns

Halo Food’s finance chief Jourdan Thompson takes over the CEO role.

By Simon Harvey

Halo Food Co., the former Keytone Dairy milk-powder business in New Zealand, has announced the departure of CEO Danny Rotman.

Rotman, who became chief executive and managing director in September 2019 before the new company designation was rubber-stamped last year, has resigned and will serve out his 12-month notice period as head of revenue.

Finance chief Jourdan Thompson takes over the CEO role with immediate effect, while Halo Food will conduct a search for a replacement CFO.

Rotman joined Christchurch-based Keytone Dairy from Omniblend, where he was CEO of the Australia milk powders and UHT dairy drinks business until the company was acquired in 2019 by the New Zealand firm.

Listed in Australia with sales in its 2022 fiscal year of AUD59.9m (US$37.5m) – an increase of 18% – Halo Food also manufactures The Healthy Mummy weight-loss nutrition brand featuring smoothies, meals and snack bars. That business was also acquired through M&A in a deal struck earlier this year.

Halo Food’s other brands include KeyDairy milk powders – A2, goat and organic powders – the Tonik line of protein shakes and Gran’s Fudge.

On Rotman’s departure, chairman Peter James said: “Danny has elected to leave his roles and we wish him the best for his future endeavours. The board and I thank Danny for managing the company through the recent pandemic and establishing a robust foundation from which to continue the Halo story.”

Jourdan has been CFO for more than four years. HE previously served as a principal and advisor at the Sydney office of US-headquartered investment bank Greenhill & Co. Prior to that, he was vice president for corporate finance at the London branch of Dutch financial services group ING.

He now heads up the Halo Food business with seven manufacturing facilities – two in New Zealand and others in Melbourne and Sydney. The company was loss-making in the year to 31 March amounting to AUD7.3m, which was down from an AUD8.6m loss in the corresponding period.

Normalised EBITDA turned to an AUD2.1m profit from an AUD2.3m loss.

As well as New Zealand and Australia, Halo Food exports to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Middle East. It also provides co-manufacturing services and private label for retailers such as Coles, Foodstuffs New Zealand and Walmart in China.

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