Thursday, August 18, 2022

Roma Foods canvases equity sale to drive growth

Australian allergen free food manufacturer, Roma Foods, announced the appointment of MA Moelis Australia to canvas market interest and brief potential investors with a view to a sale of the business.

Established in 1953 as a pasta producer, Roma Foods has grown into Australia’s “leading” allergen-free, gluten-free and plant-based manufacturer. From its company-owned manufacturing facility in Carrum Downs, Victoria, which sits on more than four acres of land, Roma Foods products extend from pasta and cereals to snack foods and baking mixes.

In recent years the business has created over 40 new products for launch into the mainstream and health categories under the Roma Foods banner. Following from the award of significant Government Grants, Roma has commenced investing in additional plant and equipment which will significantly expand production capabilities.

Roma Foods Managing Director Max Buontempo says: “Following an unsolicited offer for Roma Foods during 2021, the directors decided the time is right to undertake a formal process to test market interest in the business. Moelis expects the process to be completed by early in the new financial year.

“The process will investigate a range of options for the future of Roma Foods including a 100 per cent trade sale.

“With annual revenue forecast to exceed $35m in the next 12 months, we believe there is significant opportunity for a new owner or investor to accelerate the growth trajectory of Roma Foods by investing in its people, infrastructure and brands.

“With a proven track record of growth and profitability over many years, Roma Foods is an attractive opportunity for investment or acquisition,” Mr Buontempo said.

Sam Schachna joined the company as CEO in January 2020 and has led the transformation and growth over the last 26 months. Mr Schachna said the company was in a strong position and poised to take advantage of changing market emphasis towards locally manufactured high growth plant-based and allergen-free foods.

“The outcome of this process will be good for the business, our employees and our partners including customers and suppliers,” Mr Schachna said. He said the company had a clear strategy to continue its success, including a focus on:

  • Additional investment in Roma Foods’ health food brands – Orgran and Buontempo – to capitalise on the growth in consumer preferences for healthier offers.
  • A strategic pivot in the business into mainstream categories and the launch of new brands, representing substantial upside to the business and driving growth in FY22 and FY23; and
  • Development of customer partnerships, expanded industrial channels and private label offerings in health and mainstream categories.

“Our ambition is to create great food for healthier living and have a Roma Foods product in every family’s pantry. Together with the team we are proud of the growth and achievements over the last few years, and we are excited by the opportunities ahead,” Mr Schachna said.

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