Specialist food investment group BiaVest has partnered with Development Capital to acquire Donegal-based Nomadic Dairy (‘the Company’) from Donegal Investment Group plc for an upfront consideration of €23 million and up to €6 million deferred consideration contingent on FY 2022 financial performance.
Employing 80 people in Killygordon, Co. Donegal, Nomadic Dairy is a fast-growing, premium branded yogurt manufacturer. It supplies multiple products across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Nomadic Dairy is one of the UK’s fastest-growing, innovative “on-the-go” healthy food brands and has experienced significant year-on-year growth since the company was established in 1998 – doubling unit sales every five years since 2010. The company has grown its revenues by over 50% in the past four years, adding to its product range and expanding across the grocery, convenience and foodservice distribution channels. This consistent growth has resulted in Nomadic Dairy becoming the number one yogurt brand in the UK (GB&NI) Convenience and Impulse channel.
A significant 80% of Nomadic Dairy’s revenues are currently generated in the British market with products listed by five of the top six UK grocery multiples and by most of the leading convenience and forecourt retailers. Nomadic Dairy products are stocked by retailers across the UK and Ireland.
The Company created the ‘Yogurt Plus Oats’ snack category in 2000 and ongoing innovation in both the category and format means that Nomadic still captures over 60% share and continues to lead the growth of this exciting category across GB & Ireland. Recent innovations such as Breakfast Bircher, a multipack versions of its category leading Yogurt & Oat clusters product and new Limited Editions and consumer facing on pack Promotions from Jan 22 have favourably positioned the company for further growth.
Nomadic Dairy currently has six yogurt-based product ranges, all focused on serving the needs of busy people whether at home or on the move, with over 20 varieties and flavours to choose from. The Company is led by Managing Director Alan Cunningham. Alan and his team are remaining with the business to work with the new owners to lead and drive the next stage of Nomadic Dairy’s development.
Nomadic Dairy is a community-based, sustainable foods business with products made using locally sourced Irish farm milk and recyclable, biodegradable packaging (including a small wooden spoon as part of the brand’s “on-the-go” products). All products are certified by Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.
The BiaVest (54%) and Development Capital (46%) co-investment partnership, along with Bank of Ireland bank funding, positions Nomadic Dairy to build on its strong growth to date and will also enable the company to leverage the experience, support and reach of both investors to accelerate its plans for further growth. Future growth will be driven both organically, with existing products and new product launches, as well as through value-enhancing acquisitions.
BiaVest is a dedicated food-focused investment fund founded by two highly experienced senior food Executives, Hilliard Lombard and David McKernan. BiaVest is Ireland’s first food-focused private investment fund and has access to a deep pool of private capital. BiaVest will assist Nomadic Dairy achieve its growth by leveraging their operational experience in the food sector and extensive contacts in the food industry across Ireland, the UK and Europe. As part of the investment Hilliard Lombard (CEO, BiaVest) and Warren Codd (CFO, BiaVest) will join the Board of Nomadic.
Development Capital is a €75m development and growth capital SME fund backed by Irish and International investors established in 2013 by Andrew Bourg and Sinead Heaney. It invests between €2m - €12m in established and export focussed SME’s. This investment is the second investment from its successor fund and brings the total number of investments made by Development Capital to date to 11. As part of the investment, Andrew Bourg (Development Capital) will join the Board of Nomadic and Stuart Mellon (Development Capital) will join the Board as an observer.
BiaVest CEO Hilliard Lombard said: “Nomadic Dairy is Donegal to its core but, like BiaVest, is international in its outlook. We’re investing alongside Development Capital and bringing a shared passion for high-quality, nutritious food products and the ambition to bring them to new markets and new consumers. We are looking forward to working with Alan and the Nomadic Dairy team to drive the next stage of growth for this outstanding business”.
Andrew Bourg, Partner Development Capital said: “Nomadic Dairy represents the ideal type of business and growth opportunity for Development Capital to back. Alan and the Nomadic team have consistently delivered strong growth in an attractive and growing market which has further exciting growth potential. We are delighted to have partnered with both them and BiaVest and we are looking forward to working with both parties to drive and unlock Nomadic Dairy’s growth ambition.”
Michael Lauhoff, MD Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking said: “Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking warmly congratulates BiaVest and Development Capital on the acquisition of Nomadic Dairy. We are delighted to welcome Nomadic Dairy as a new customer and are very impressed at the strong and growing business the Nomadic Dairy team have built in Donegal. We look forward to supporting Nomadic Dairy in its next phase of growth and to strengthening our relationship with BiaVest and Development Capital. We wish them all every success in the future as they embark on this exciting new partnership.”
Professional and due diligence advisors to the co-investment buyers, BiaVest and Development Capital, include: Anglesea Corporate Finance (Financial Advice and Equity Funding for BiaVest), Bay Advisory (Financial Diligence and Bank Debt), Flynn O’Driscoll (Legal), ET Optimo (Technical), KPMG (Tax) and EY Parthenon (Commercial).
Professional advisors to Donegal Investment Group include: Eversheds Sutherland and KPMG.
Professional advisors to Bank of Ireland: McCann Fitzgerald LLP (Legal).