The terms of the deal, which are not disclosed, are subject to the approval of the South African Competition Commission.
Ibrahim Najafi, CEO of R&R, said: “This acquisition is a major milestone towards our goal of becoming a leading global player in ice cream. As a business we have enjoyed a successful partnership with Nestlé for nearly 15 years in the UK. This relationship was extended with the acquisition of Peters in Australia, also a former Nestlé business, and now we are looking forward to working together in South Africa.”
R&R Ice Cream – originally Richmond Ice Cream – started out in 1985 as a North Yorkshire-based private label ice cream manufacturer. In 1998 the business merged with Treats Group – a Leeds-based ice lolly manufacturer – followed by the acquisitions of ABF’s ice cream business in 2000 and of Nestlé Ice Cream’s UK business in 2001. The Nestlé acquisition allowed the company to manufacture, distribute and market brands such as Fab, Smarties, Rolo and Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles.
In 2006 Richmond was merged with German ice cream manufacturer Roncadin GmbH to form R&R Ice Cream. The expansion programme accelerated, with Kelly’s of Cornwall added to the portfolio in 2008 and the French business Rolland joined in 2010. This was followed by the purchase of Pilpa in France, the German ice cream company Durigon and Italy’s largest private label ice cream manufacturer Eskigel. In addition, R&R acquired YooMoo, the UK frozen yogurt business and Fredericks Dairies. Recently, it acquired Peters Food Group, one of Australia’s oldest consumer businesses, in May 2014. R&R itself was acquired by PAI in mid-2013.