The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN - news), the leading natural and organic food company, announced today that it had acquired privately-held Yves Veggie Cuisine Inc., the leading North American manufacturer and distributor of soy protein meat alternative products. The transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to The Hain Celestial Group's earnings per share.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Yves Veggie Cuisine products currently include a full line of meat alternatives and cheese substitutes sold in grocery and natural food stores throughout the United States and Canada. Yves Veggie Cuisine currently has 24 products, in five product categories, including several international award-winning meat alternatives. The company has approximately 250 employees and a state-of-the-art 53,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Vancouver.
Irwin D. Simon, Chief Executive Officer of The Hain Celestial Group, said, ``Our partnership with Yves creates important growth opportunities for The Hain Celestial Group. Yves is a proven leader in the rapidly growing category of meat and cheese alternatives. Together, we will maximize distribution opportunities throughout North America for Yves. We will also leverage Yves' capabilities in refrigerated distribution, as well as its presence in the supermarket channel, to benefit Hain Celestial's other refrigerated soy products, particularly Westsoy refrigerated beverages. These growth synergies from our partnership are expected to contribute immediately to Hain Celestial's EPS growth.''
Mr. Simon also commented on the international strength of Yves Veggie Cuisine, ``Yves is a successful Canadian business, with an established infrastructure, sales force, management, and distribution network in that country. With this acquisition, we will establish Hain Celestial's Canadian headquarters in Vancouver, and leverage Yves' presence in Canada to better recognize the potential of the Canadian market for all Hain Celestial products through both natural food and grocery channels. As a Canadian, this step in establishing our presence there is personally gratifying, and our success will contribute to Vancouver's economy and create further opportunities for Canadians.''
Yves Potvin, Founder and President of Yves Veggie Cuisine, said, ``Today is an important milestone in the growth of Yves. Strategic partnership is the key to success in today's food industry. As a part of The Hain Celestial Group, we will be able to pursue additional international growth opportunities, expanding our products and distribution to fulfill our vision of creating tasty, healthy food that meets the growing demands of our customers. Hain Celestial is an excellent partner, with a proven track record of growing 'better for you' brands. Importantly, our two companies have complementary values and corporate cultures, and Hain Celestial has a demonstrated commitment to the community that all Yves employees share. I look forward to our continued success.''
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In addition, Hain Celestial is pleased to announce that Yves Potvin, the founder and president of Yves Veggie Cuisine, and Kenneth Bolton, executive vice president and chief financial officer, have agreed to continue working to expand Yves products internationally and grow Canadian distribution of Hain Celestial's other brands.
During 2000, Yves revenues were approximately $35 million, with 72% of sales volume generated from leading conventional grocers and mass market retailers. The meat analog market is estimated at $1.2 billion per year. This market is anticipated to grow by approximately 25-30% annually, with particular growth in demand in major markets such as the U.S. and Europe, in response to growing recognition of the health benefits of soy as well as increasing coverage of diseases afflicting cattle, including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and Foot and Mouth Disease.
About The Hain Celestial Group
The Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Uniondale, NY, is a natural, specialty and snack food company. The Company is a leader in 13 of the top 15 natural food categories, with such well-known natural food brands as Celestial Seasonings (R) teas, Hain Pure Foods®, Westbrae®, Westsoy®, Arrowhead Mills®, Health Valley®, Breadshop's®, Casbah®, Garden of Eatin®, Terra Chips®, DeBoles®, Earth's Best®, and Nile Spice. The Company's principal specialty product lines include Hollywood® cooking oils, Estee® sugar-free products, Weight Watchers® dry and refrigerated products, Kineret® kosher foods, Boston Better Snacks®, and Alba Foods®. The Hain Celestial Group's website can be found at http://www.hain-celestial.com .
About Yves Veggie Cuisine
Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Yves Veggie Cuisine is North America's leading manufacturer and marketer of fresh, all-natural, soy-based products for mainstream and vegetarian consumers looking for healthy, meat alternative food items. The company offers 24 different ``convenience foods'' that easily fit into consumers' daily eating habits in five product categories: Veggie Wieners, Veggie Burgers, Veggie Slices, Veggie Entrees and Veggie Ground Round. Yves Veggie Cuisine has received multiple awards for its products, technological innovation and operational excellence, including the SIAL D'Or Award, one of the international food industry's most prestigious prizes. Yves Veggie Cuisine is the only company to have received five Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards.
Statements made in this Press Release that are estimates of past or future performance are based on a number of factors, some of which are outside of the Company's control. Statements made in this Press Release that state the intentions, beliefs, expectations or predictions of The Hain Celestial Group and its management for the future are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements is contained from time to time in filings of The Hain Celestial Group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings may be obtained by contacting The Hain Celestial Group or the SEC.
Source: Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and Yves Veggie Cuisine Inc.