Australia’s top ginger producer Buderim Group Ltd has inked a $20 million (AU$26.1 million) acquisition deal with China-based Wattle Hill RHC Fund 1 (WHC), and QiaQia Food Co Ltd, both initially taking 23 per cent stake of the company.
Buderim manufactures and distributes various confectionery ginger and other ginger-based products to both industrial, food service and retail operations globally, and has subsidiaries in Australia, the United States and Fiji.
“The purpose of the capital restructuring is to provide funds for a substantial reduction of bank debt and to develop the core business segments of macadamias and ginger, capitalising on the established brands held by the group including Buderim Ginger, MacFarms, Fresh from Hawaii, Agrimac, and Frespac,” Buderim said in its statement.
WHC and QiaQia have an opportunity to increase their stake as much as 48 per cent because of a convertible note exercisable in three years. Both investors are also allowed to appoint two directors to the board.
QiaQia is one of China’s largest modern snack production companies, specialised in roasted seeds and tree nuts.
WHC is a holding vehicle for a private equity fund which invests in Australian and New Zealand companies that benefit from China’s growth – especially companies that offer products and services in demand by Chinese consumers.
WHC was founded by Albert Tse, former lawyer in China of Australia-based investment banking firm Macquarie, and husband of Jessica Rudd, daughter of former prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd.
Buderim disclosed it is contemplating on projects that will increase distribution into export markets, including China, assisted by WHC and QiaQia.
The Australia-listed firm also mentioned development of in-house manufacturing capability for processes currently outsourced including drinks packaging.
Established in 1941, Buderim began as a co-operative by five Buderim farmers that later restructured to a public company on October 10, 1989. It now employs around 400 people globally with manufacturing facilities in Yandina, Queensland, Australia, Suva, Fiji and Captain Cook on the Big Island, Hawaii.