Yorkshire-based ice cream giant Froneri secures major acquisition

A YORKSHIRE-based ice cream giant has secured a major acquisition to increase its global market share.

Froneri has secured a significant acquisition.

Froneri has agreed to buy the New Zealand ice cream business Tip Top from global dairy co-operative Fonterra for around £192m.

Froneri was formed as a joint venture between North Yorkshire-based R&R Ice Cream, owned by PAI Partners, and Nestle in 2016. It employs around 900 staff in Yorkshire.

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Fonterra is a global dairy nutrition company which is owned by 10,000 farmers and their families in New Zealand.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Commenting on the deal, Froneri’s CEO Ibrahim Najafi said: “We have always admired Tip Top, which is an iconic brand in New Zealand with a long, proud history and we are looking forward to welcoming the team into Froneri.

“Our vision is to build the world’s best ice cream company; an important part of our strategy is to develop local market successes and roll them out across our other markets.”

The Tip Top name and its operations, including the Auckland based factory site at Mount Wellington, will be maintained.

Mr Najafi added: “Our consumers are at the heart of our business and we intend to invest in the Tip Top brands, products and manufacturing facility to ensure we continue to excite the market and New Zealanders with delicious high-quality ice cream made from fresh New Zealand milk and cream.”

Froneri said the Tip Top business will continue to be led by the existing management team.

Commenting on his future plans for the business Kim Ballinger, the managing director of Tip Top said: “As part of the Froneri family we will benefit from Froneri’s scale and expertise, while continuing to maintain our commitment to our local heritage and our many loyal consumers in New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific region.

“We’re all very excited about what the future holds.”

The company’s leading brands include Tip Top, Kāpiti, Trumpet and Popsicle.

Froneri is a long established Yorkshire business.

R&R Ice Cream was created in 2006 from merging Richmond Foods with Roncadin, creating a global leader in private label ice cream.

PAI Partners acquired R&R Ice Cream in 2013 and then in May 2014 acquired Peters, the major Australian ice cream manufacturer, opening the doors to southern hemisphere markets.

In March 2015, R&R further expanded with the acquisition of the South African ice cream business of Nestlé.

The next phase in the company’s development began in 2016, when R&R and Nestlé created a joint venture which led to the formation of Froneri.

Froneri, which is based in Leeming Bar, near Northallerton, is the second largest manufacturer of ice cream in Europe the third largest worldwide and the number one private label producer worldwide.

It has a presence in more than 20 countries with revenues of €2.5bn and more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

In 2016, Mr Najafi was crowned overall winner at the director of the year awards, organised by the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire and the North East.

Mr Najafi joined the Northallerton-based business in 1998, and was appointed to the board in 2000. He became group CEO in 2014.

R&R Ice Cream also triumphed at The Yorkshire Post’s 2016 Excellence in Business awards, where it took home the award for best business turning over more than £50m.