Noosa Yoghurt to Merge Into Sovos Brands

The transaction adds another brand to the Sovos portfolio, which also includes Michael Angelo's and Rao's Homemade.

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BERKELEY, Calif. and BELLVUE, Colo., Oct. 30, 2018 (PRNewswire) — Sovos Brands, a food and beverage company backed by Advent International, on Wednesday announced that it has signed a merger agreement under which noosa yoghurt, LLC, a fast-growing premium yoghurt manufacturer also backed by Advent, will expand Sovos Brands into the yoghurt category.

The transaction adds another exciting brand to the Sovos portfolio, which also includes Michael Angelo's and Rao's Homemade. Sovos' mission is to acquire premium, on-trend brands with high-quality products that have significant growth opportunities, combining industry expertise with fresh thinking to bring authentic, delicious food into more homes.

noosa was co-founded in 2009 by Koel Thomae, an Australian expat, and Rob Graves, a Colorado dairy farmer, who set out to bring the Aussie-style yoghurt with a creamy texture and sweet-tart flavor profile to the U.S. market. noosa boasts impressive consumer loyalty with premium positioning, and is made with whole milk, a touch of wildflower North American honey and real fruit purées on a family farm in Bellvue, Colorado. Sovos values noosa's unique culture and its commitment to Colorado and plans to continue to manufacture products at the Bellvue facility.

Headquartered in Berkeley, California, and led by experienced consumer packaged goods executives, Sovos focuses on acquiring high-quality brands in on-trend categories with the potential to accelerate growth by investing in distribution, marketing, production and product innovation. noosa is the third brand to join the Sovos portfolio in the last two years. In January 2017, Sovos acquired Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods, a leading producer of premium, authentic frozen Italian entrées, and in July 2017 purchased Rao's Specialty Foods Inc., which produces the leading super premium pasta sauce and other Italian specialty foods.

"noosa fits perfectly into our portfolio of one-of-a-kind brands in the food and beverage sector, and we have been impressed by its compelling growth opportunities, attractive consumer demographics and talented employee base," said Todd Lachman, President and CEO of Sovos Brands. "noosa shares our unwavering commitment to authentic, delicious-tasting products using only the highest quality ingredients. Our team brings significant experience across food and beverage categories, and we see a number of attractive opportunities to grow the noosa brand as we expand Sovos Brands into the yoghurt category."

According to Bill Johnson, Chairman of both the noosa and Sovos Boards of Directors and former Chairman, CEO and President of H.J. Heinz, Sovos will guide noosa into its next phase of growth while remaining true to the brand's standard of making the finest yoghurt with the finest ingredients. "With the addition of noosa, Sovos will become a more powerful force in the food and beverage sector," said Johnson. "I've had a chance to work first-hand with the team at Sovos, and they bring a wealth of knowledge and capability that will help noosa continue to scale and grow its brand. As part of Sovos, noosa will continue to create the same great 'farm-to-fridge' products that consumers expect, and I'm excited about what our companies can achieve together."

Advent acquired a majority interest in noosa in November 2014, and during its ownership has worked with the company's founders and management team to accelerate growth. Over the past four years, noosa has more than tripled its sales, market share and local production capacity in Bellvue, introduced more than 25 new flavors and sizes, and increased distribution from 5,000 stores to 25,000 nationwide.   

"noosa's merger into Sovos is a clear and logical next step for both companies, as they share the same brand and customer-centric values and growth goals," said Jeff Case, a Managing Director at Advent. "noosa has established itself as a market leader in the premium yoghurt category, and we are confident that it will be well positioned for continued success as part of Sovos Brands. We look forward to working with Sovos to identify new growth opportunities across all their brands."

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

About noosa yoghurt

noosa was founded in 2009 by an Aussie expat and a Colorado dairy farmer who set out to bring the best-tasting yoghurt to the U.S. noosa yoghurt is made with whole milk and a touch of wildflower North American honey on a family farm in Bellvue, Colorado, noosa is currently available in a variety of unique flavors and sizes, ranging from 4-oz. 4-packs and 5.5-oz. mates mix-ins to 8-oz. and 24-oz. tubs. For more information, please visit www.noosayoghurt.com.

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