Everfoods enters into an agreement to acquire the entire promoter stake of Cookie Man. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Everstone Arm To Buy Out Cookie Man

Everfoods, the packaged foods platform controlled by PE fund Everstone group, today said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire promoter stake of Cookie Man, for an undisclosed sum.

Chennai-based Cookie Man (Australian Foods India) is the largest brand of fresh baked cookies in the country and the acquisition will be carried out by Everstone’s subsidiary Modern Food Enterprises, a company release said.

Cookie Man manufacturers and retails Australian cookies and bakery items like muffins, ice creams, brownies, chocolates, thorough a network of over 50 stores/kiosks in leading malls and airports across over 20 cities.

For the Singapore-based India-focused private equity major Everstone, the deal will complement its recent takeover of Modern Foods from Hindustan Unilever and add to its income from the foods business.

Everstone said Cookie Man chief executive Anupam Saluja, with the current leadership team, will continue to work with the Modern and Everstone leadership post deal.

Post-acquisition, Everfoods will get exclusive rights to own and operate the brand and other related intellectual property not only in the country but also in adjoining Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

Deep Mishra, managing director at Everstone, who leads the investments and acquisition strategy for Everfoods said, "Cookies are the fastest growing segment in the biscuits category, and is expected to continue to grow at double-digits in the coming years."

"Cookie Man, with its premium and authentic cookies positioning and a strong equity base, is a good fit for Everfoods and especially Modern. This is the first of many acquisitions in core and adjacent spaces that we are evaluating and looking to close," he added.

Previously, Everstone through Everfoods, completed the acquisition of the iconic Modern Foods from Hindustan Unilever in 2016 and has also built a state of the art R&D facility in Chennai after the deal.

Modern Food was established in 1965 by the Government of India, and was the first branded bread in the country.

Modern's bread and bakery products are manufactured and marketed nationally through a network of over 40 plants and over 80,000 outlets.

The Everstone group has assets under management of around USD 4 billion and employs over 250 across its seven offices – Singapore, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mauritius, London and New York.