Australia’s Peters Food Group, maker of the popular Drumstick ice cream and one of the country’s oldest consumer firms, was sold Tuesday to French giant R&R for an undisclosed sum.

Peters, which began life in 1907 in the Sydney suburb of Manly, was sold by its private equity owners Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) in a deal market watchers had previously speculated could be worth about Aus$450 million (US$416 million).

It marks the second time the company, which employs around 500 people and makes household ice-cream brands including the Drumstick and Connoisseur, has left Australia.

PEP bought it in 2012 from Nestle, 17 years after the Swiss food giant had acquired it from Pacific Dunlop, a consumer and industrial products.

“We are pleased that a company of R&R’s pedigree will help drive the future of the Peters’ business alongside the existing skilled and committed Australian management team,” said PEP managing director Tony Duthie.

Founded in 1985, R&R is the second largest ice cream manufacturer in Europe. It began in Britain as Richmond Ice Cream and was acquired by French private equity firm PAI Partners last year.

R&R chief executive Ibrahim Najafi described Peters as an iconic business and a perfect fit.

“It will be an exciting complement to R&R’s European presence,” he said, adding that the existing Australian executive leadership team would remain to develop the Peters business locally.

Source: AFP