Olam buys peanut company in Alabama

by Jeff Gelski
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Brooks Peanut Co., Olam
Brooks Peanut Co. has an annual capacity of 175,000 farmer stock tons.

SINGAPORE — Olam International Ltd. has acquired a 100% interest in Brooks Peanut Co., Samson, Ala., at an enterprise value of $85 million. The acquisition expands Olam’s peanut sourcing network into Alabama and Florida. Brooks, the sixth-largest peanut-sheller in the United States, processes about 110,000 Farmer Stock Tons and has an annual capacity of 175,000 Farmer Stock Tons.

Anupam Jindel, Olam
Anupam Jindel, president of Olam’s global peanut business

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to acquire Brooks’ procurement and processing capabilities, which complement our footprint in the U.S. and significantly strengthen our network and product offerings to our customers and growers,” said Anupam Jindel, president of Olam’s global peanut business, when the deal was announced June 9. “Given our strengths in the U.S. peanut industry and global marketing reach, we feel quite confident that we will be able to take Brooks to its full potential fairly quickly.”

Singapore-based Olam International in 2014 acquired McCleskey Mills, Inc., a peanut-shelling company with two locations in Georgia. Olam International said it is the third largest peanut-sheller in the United States.

“Olam has a significant global presence in the peanut industry, and we are excited to be joining their team,” said Barrett Brooks, president of Brooks Peanut Co. “I believe the combination of our modern processing assets and strong procurement franchise with Olam’s expertise in peanut processing, marketing and risk management will be a very successful one.”

A combination of internal accruals and existing debt facilities will fund the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. It is expected to be earnings accretive in 2016 and meet the targeted EBITDA on invested capital range of 13% to 16% from the first full year of operations in 2017.

“The acquisition will be earnings and talent accretive from the beginning,” said Joe West, head of Olam’s U.S. peanut-shelling operations. “Brooks has a strong leadership team, which will continue to manage the operations from Alabama and also help extract synergy value with our existing peanut business. Our combined team will be able to offer highly differentiated products like high-oleic, bar-ready peanuts to our discerning customers and also our high quality seed to Brooks’ growers, while capitalizing on the growth prospects in the industry.”

Olam International, an agri-business, operates in 70 countries. 
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