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Oaktree Capital to divest R&R Ice Cream

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Oaktree Capital to divest R&R Ice Cream

Oaktree Capital to divest R&R Ice Cream
March 14
11:58 2012

US private-equity firm Oaktree Capital Management is seeking to sell Europe’s largest private-label ice cream maker R&R Ice Cream after seven years of ownership.

Oaktree has hired British investment bank Barclays Capital to conduct an auction for R&R Ice Cream, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.

The ice cream business, headquartered in North Yorkshire, UK, is expected to attract other private equity firms and is likely to fetch around $1bn.

R&R, which has a strong presence in the UK, Germany and France, owns brands such as Kelly’s Cornish ice cream, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille lollies, and Fab lollies, as well as Skinny Cow healthy treats, and sells more than 1 billion litres of ice cream annually.

For nine months through September, R&R reported sales of €405m, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €59.8m.

In December, the company acquired German manufacturer Durigon Gelato, which manufactures tubs, sandwiches and other ice cream products for the private label market throughout Germany as well as other EU states.

The company acquired the German firm to strengthen its position as the second largest ice cream manufacturer in the European market, after Unilever.

R&R also entered into an agreement with American snack food company Kraft Foods to develop ice creams products based on Kraft’s key brands such as Milka and Toblerone.

R&R Ice Cream was formed in 2006 when Oaktree acquired Richmond Foods, Britain’s biggest ice-cream maker and united it with Roncadin, the largest German own-brand label ice cream manufacturer, which it had bought the year before.

Los Angeles-based Oaktree manages assets worth $74.9bn, and private equity firms typically hold companies for three to five years, less than Oaktree has owned R&R.

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