A well-established and much-loved company that shocked investors and the general public when it appointed external administrators has managed to turn the tables.
Last month, Melbourne-based Nourish Food announced that a massive deal had fallen through at the 11th hour and they’d had no choice but to go into voluntary administration.
Nourish Food is the parent company of kids snack brand the Whole Kids, which had products on the shelves of Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse and was about to hit Coles shelves.
Overnight, Nourish Food was acquired for an undisclosed amount to major consumer electronics supplier Tempo, allowing it to continue functioning.
Tempo is a 23-year-old Australian family-owned company and has major global deals selling consumer appliances and electronics. Its acquisition of Nourish Food could spell Tempo’s interest in breaking into the food space.
A spokesman from insolvency firm Grant Thornton, which was handling the sale, said it was “pleased with the end result”.
Founders Monica and James Meldrum launched Nourish Food in 2005 as a healthy snacking brand.
On the company’s website, they claim to have generated $23 million in revenue over the past five years.
Its Whole Kids brand debuted on Woolworths supermarket shelves and saw sales grow by 77 per cent at the grocery giant.
Off the back of this success, Nourish had launched two more brands, Offbeat for Gen Z snackers and Just Add, for infants.
Nourish had just rolled out these products in Chemist Warehouse and had plans to go into Coles later this year.
The business had previously raised $2.4 million in crowd-funding campaigns to aid its expansion and was seeking a further $2 million in May.
But this all came crashing down in early September when a deal with an unknown major retailer collapsed at the last minute.
“Both parties appeared to be heading in the same direction,” Ms Meldrum, one of the co-founders, wrote to shareholders.
“The investor, however, decided at the last minute not to proceed, much to our shock.
“We are devastated we have come to this point.
“With no capacity to relaunch our crowdfund campaign and no other realistic option to fund the business, we faced the difficult position of considering voluntary administration.”
At first, Mark Everingham and Tim Heesh of insolvency firm TPH Advisory were appointed as administrators.
“It is not often that a well-established business with reputable and trusted brands like these comes along,” Mr Heesh said at the time.
“The business represents an outstanding strategic opportunity for an investor to acquire a brand portfolio that should ultimately become household names and leaders in the FMCG healthy snack market.”
But after a key deadline passed where they had not managed to secure a sale, in mid-September, John McInerney and Matt Byrnes of Grant Thornton took over as receivers.
“Shortly after commencement of the Receivership, an expressions of interest sale campaign was conducted to find a buyer for the Company’s business and assets, which included the ‘Nourish Foods’ brand,” a Grant Thornton spokesman said.
“As receivers and managers, we are pleased to have been able to support the brand through to a positive outcome and find a suitable buyer who is motivated to see the brand continue.”
Other food companies are also struggling amid the turbulent economic times.
In July, another popular snacking company, Bounce, also went into voluntary administration.
Bounce had been popular for its range of protein balls and other health snacks.
Last month, ASX-listed Halo Food Co, which supplied nutrient brands, beverages and milk to retailers, also appointed administrators.