Rice firm Tilda taken over by Hain Celestial

AMERICAN organic food products company Hain Celestial has swallowed rice company Tilda in a $357m (£218m) deal that will retain the UK firm’s management to drive growth in new markets.

Hain Celestial, whose companies include Ella’s Kitchen and Almond Dream, beat firms such as Associated British Foods (ABF), Spanish rice company Ebro and Uncle Ben’s rice owner, Mars, to the deal. It said Tilda would expand its “better-for-you product portfolio into the premium Basmati rice category along with other specialty rice products.”

Tilda was founded in 1972 by the Thakrar family, who fled Uganda after being expelled by dictator Idi Amin. Last year it had sales of $190m (£115.9m).

Yesterday Hain Celestial president Irwin D Simon said: “Tilda’s existing, fast-growing markets in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and India provide us with new markets for expansion.”

Hain said Tilda’s management team including UK head Rohit Samani will be moving over with the company.

Hain Celestial was advised by Jefferies and DLA Piper. Tilda was advised by Rothschild and Dechert.

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