Hain Celestial Acquires Baby Food Maker Ella’s Kitchen
The Hain Celestial Group Inc., a leading natural and organic products company, has acquired Ella’s Kitchen Group Limited—forming the Global Infant, Toddler & Kids Division under Hain Celestial U.S. Ella’s Kitchen is a manufacturer and distributor of premium organic baby food under the Ella’s Kitchen brand and the first company to offer baby food in flexible pouches. Ella’s Kitchen offers a range of 80 branded organic baby food products principally in the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Scandinavia.
Ella’s Kitchen generated approximately $70 million in sales in calendar year 2012 and is expected to be accretive to Hain Celestial’s earnings in fiscal year 2014 by $0.05 to $0.08 per diluted share. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, will become CEO of the new Global Infant, Toddler & Kids Division at Hain Celestial U.S., with responsibility for Hain Celestial’s Earth’s Best brand as well as the newly acquired Ella’s Kitchen brand. Lindley will report to John Carroll, EVP and CEO of Hain Celestial U.S.
“We are very excited by the strategic acquisition of Ella’s Kitchen, which complements our Earth’s Best line of infant, toddler and kids products. Our Earth’s Best team has much to be proud of, having grown the brand from less than $15 million in sales in 1999 to over $150 million today, as the first and only full line of organic baby food products with a wide variety of offerings including jars, pouches, formula, cereal, smoothies, snacks, soups, meals and frozen products, diapers and wipes,” said Irwin D. Simon, founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial. “We plan to grow the Ella’s Kitchen brand by leveraging our distribution platform in the European Union and the U.S. with the addition of Ella’s Kitchen organic baby food product offerings. We also see the opportunity to expand in the U.K. market with new feeding and personal care products under the Ella’s Kitchen brand. We welcome Paul Lindley, the founder of Ella’s Kitchen and his team, who together with our accomplished Earth’s Best team should accelerate the growth of both brands in our new Global Infant, Toddler and Kids Division. We strive to ‘Change the Way the World Eats,’ and bringing together Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen brands should enable us to bring our natural and organic nutritional feeding offerings to a global consumer base.”
“Today is truly exciting and ground breaking. I started Ella’s Kitchen just seven years ago, alone in my daughter Ella’s playroom. Now our Ella’s Kitchen adventure continues as our total consumer focus, deep passion, clear vision and exceptionally talented team become part of a leading global natural and organic food and personal care business. The chance to take the next steps on our journey to improve children’s health with a partner like Hain Celestial and the Earth’s Best brand is something we relish and cherish. Together, we are committed to building the business that always put children’s nutrition first. I am proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to what we can do, as we show that in business tiny ripples can become big waves of change,” said Lindley.