Birch & Waite Foods Acquires EP Food Company in Australia

Birch & Waite Foods, based in New South Wales, Australia, acquired EP Food Company, based in Queensland, Australia, on July 5, 2023. Both companies service commercial clients and produce a variety of food products, including mayonnaise, dressings, sauces, and desserts. The acquisition strengthens Birch & Waite’s manufacturing capability, with added scale and capacity.

Transaction Summary

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: EP Food Company is a producer of fresh salad dressings and sauces and is based in Queensland. It prides itself on using local ingredients and being Australian owned. The company sells to commercial clients across Australia.
  • Acquirer: Birch & Waite Foods is based in Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia. It produces mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, and desserts. It is backed by Australian private equity firm Fortitude Investment Partners.

Our Take on the Acquisition

Birch & Waite (acquirer) will gain new commercial clients and EP Food’s (target) manufacturing facility, about 650 miles away in Yandina, Queensland. Birch & Waite can use this facility as a distribution center for its Queensland clients while servicing New South Wales’ clients with its own facilities. The synergies attained from logistics will reduce operational costs. It’s expected there will be only marginal increases in operational complexity since the two businesses largely produce the same products. 

The Transaction

Date:July 5, 2023
Purpose: To expand the product portfolio and manufacturing capability.
Acquirer’s Statement:Paul O’Brien, co-owner and CEO of Birch & Waite – “We are pleased to be able to invest in production in Queensland, to enable the growth of both businesses, further strengthening our commitment to innovative products that celebrate the taste of Australian produce. The Birch & Waite team are excited to welcome and share mutual learnings with the EP Food’s staff.”

Target/Seller: EP Food Company

Company Information

Target:EP Food Company
Industry: Food and Beverage Production
Type:Private, family owned
Employees:17 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Office and Manufacturing Unit: 13 Industrial Place, Yandina, Queensland, Australia (650 miles from the acquirer’s location)

Product Information 

Products:Sauces – Relishes and mayonnaise-based sauces
Salad Dressing – Sauces for use on, or mixed with, salads, pasta, and potato salad
Market Reach:Australia

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $2.52 million (i.e., USD $148,214 x 17 employees = USD $2.52 million – estimated based on the acquirer’s revenue per employee and the self-published number of employees)

Did You Know?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, mayonnaise must contain no less than 65% vegetable oil and one or more egg yolk-containing ingredients. This explains why vegan mayonnaise in the United States is often labeled as a spread, dressing, egg-free mayo, avocado oil mayo – or even Vegenaise. 

Target/Seller Overview: EP Food Company

EP Food Company started in 2004 in Queensland, intending to produce healthy, high-quality food products. It uses unique recipes and organic ingredients, with products like vegan mayonnaise, protein sauce, or a probiotic dressing. EP Food sells its products to commercial customers across the country, who can order batches as small as 15 grams to as big as a tonne. Its flexible manufacturing system develops fresh dressings and sauces for some of Australia’s best-loved national food brands. The company’s capabilities include R&D, custom development, sourcing, batch manufacturing, portion control, and logistics.

EP Food’s variety of sauces produced with organic Australian ingredients

Buyer/Acquirer: Birch & Waite Foods

Company Information

Buyer:Birch & Waite Foods
Industry: Food Production
Type:Private with private equity funding
Employees:112 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Investors:Fortitude Investment Partners: Private equity firm specializing in growth capital investments in Australia and New Zealand
Locations:Office and Factory: 48-54 Meeks Road, Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia (650 miles from the target’s location)
Factory: 17 Milperra Road, Revesby, New South Wales, Australia

Product Information 

Products:Dessert – Individually packed flavored pudding, custard, and jelly
Mayonnaise – Thick, cold, creamy sauce made from oil, egg yolks, and either vinegar or lemon juice
Relish – Cooked and pickled product made of chopped vegetables, fruits or herbs
Sauces – Mayonnaise-based sauces
Salad Dressing – Sauces for use on, or mixed with, salads, pasta, and potato salad 
Sweet Condiments and Sauces – Sweet-flavored sauces like caramel and chocolate and condiments like honey
Market Reach:Australia
Middle East
New Zealand
South East Asia

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $16.6 million (Unconfirmed Source: ZoomInfo)
Revenue per Employee:USD $148,214 (i.e., USD $16.6 million / 112 employees = USD $148,214 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and the revenue from ZoomInfo)

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: Birch & Waite Foods 

For over 30 years, Birch & Waite has celebrated Australian produce through authentic, chef-quality recipes loved by professional kitchens and the home cook.​ In 1986, Willi Schultheiss and Peter Flick began Birch & Waite’s story when they saw the opportunity to celebrate the abundance of superior quality fresh produce in Australia. ​Willi and Peter combined their vision and food philosophy to create authentic, chef-quality, batch-crafted products, and after 73 iterations, they perfected Australia’s first fresh, traditional whole egg mayonnaise. ​ This endless pursuit of culinary perfection and innovation has led the founders to partner with Australia’s leading chefs and food businesses to craft an extensive range of chef-quality, fresh chilled products that celebrate the taste of Australian produce.

Birch & Waite’s range of relishes, mayonnaises, and sauces.
Birch & Waite developed its own whole egg mayonnaise through improvement over 73 iterations.

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