Monde Nissin Acquires Top Aussie Snack Brand

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Monde Nissin Corporation, maker of leading Philippine products Lucky Me! noodles and Sky Flakes crackers, recently added top Australian dip snack brand Black Swan to their stable of consumer goods.

Black Swan is one of Australia’s largest dip brands, and it has been on the market since January. It was previously owned by Melbourne-based business Poseidon Tarama.

Established in the 1980s by slain millionaire Christos Saristavros, the company started out with Saristavros selling fish-flavored tarama and hummus dips at the South Melbourne markets.

Saristavros made the now-renowned dips in his grandmother’s kitchen at 16 and built his Greek dips business into a multi-million-dollar enterprise.

The founder was fatally shot after a charity event in 2000. The case remains unresolved at present.

Good Move
A spokesperson for the brand confirmed the acquisition last June 25, adding that it is considered a beneficial move for the family business.

Victoria Brilliant, corporate finance partner of the receiving company that sold Black Swan (Deloitte), told the media in January that whoever takes on the company will retain its mainstay employees.

Ms. Brilliant remarked at that time that the business was very profitable, as Black Swan has the largest market share for dips and chilled yoghurt dips in Australia.

The snack company manufactures 20 million tubs of dips for the Australian market each year. The sale included a Melbourne-based manufacturing plant, full control of the 70-plus product line, and distribution agreements with major supermarket chains nationally including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA.

Noodle Giant
Just like its Australian counterpart, the Monde Nissin Corporation is also a family business.

Listed as one of the Philippines’ top 100 companies, the food manufacturer specializes in crackers, instant noodles, and biscuit snacks.

The company has a sizable market in Thailand as well.

Businesswoman Betty Ang founded the company in the early 1980s and now serves as its president. Ang is the 23rd richest person in the Philippines, with a net worth of US$600 million as of July 2013, based on a Forbes report.

Last 2013, Monde Nissin achieved total company sales of around US$600 million. The company has cornered around 60% of the market for instant noodles in the Philippines, and 30% of the market for local biscuit brands.

The company is considered a pioneer of the social marketing strategy, as it made quality products that targeted the low-income segment of the Philippine population.

Sources say that this is Monde Nissin’s first foray into the Australian snack food market.

A New Start
The sale of Black Swan was spearheaded by Sal Algeri and Simon Wallace-Smith, both restructuring services partners at Deloitte. Algeri and Wallace-Smith were appointed receivers and managers over the business in June 2013.

Algeri assured the media that all Black Swan employees at the time of the sale have transitioned under Monde Nissin’s employment.

Ms. Brilliant commented, “The sale reflects the continued growth and profitability of the business over recent years.”

Black Swan has grown revenues by a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent over the last two years to around $70 million in FY14.

This reflects the hard work of the shareholders and current employees in building Black Swan into Australia’s leading chilled dip brand.

“Monde Nissin is a great fit for Black Swan dips and they are very excited about becoming the new owner. The sale is indicative of strong interest in Australian dairy and FMCG businesses, particularly from international players,” Brilliant further adds.

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