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Hain Celestial to acquire U.K. maker of gluten-free soups

February 17, 2017
Consumer Packaged Goods

Hain Celestial Group Inc., the Lake Success-based organic and natural products maker that disclosed last week it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, has agreed to acquire United Kingdom soup maker Yorkshire Provender Ltd.

The transaction, announced Thursday, is subject to clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Yorkshire Provender’s gluten-free soups are sold by several retailers, on-the-go food outlets and food-service providers in the United Kingdom. The company, founded in 2007 and based in North Yorkshire, England, had about $7.5 million in net sales last year and is expected to add to Hain Celestial’s earnings in fiscal year 2018.

“We are excited to work together with the Yorkshire Provender team and leverage our combined infrastructures to drive future growth,” James Skidmore, chief executive of the Hain Daniels Group, a subsidiary of Hain Celestial, said in a statement.

Yorkshire Provender will continue to operate from its North Yorkshire location.

Last Friday, Hain Celestial disclosed in a regulatory filing it is being investigated by the SEC for its accounting practices. The company said it is cooperating with the investigation.

Hain notified the SEC in August that it was delaying the release of its financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2016, ended June 30.

In November the company said an independent review found “no evidence of intentional wrongdoing” in connection with its financial reporting. Hain, whose brands include Celestial Seasonings tea, Earth’s Best baby food, Terra chips and Spectrum oils, had been recognizing revenue when products were shipped to certain distributors rather than when the products were sold to customers.

Hain shares closed down 50 cents to $34.46 on the Nasdaq Stock Market Thursday. Its shares are down 37 percent since the company’s financial reporting news on Aug. 15.

By Aisha Al-Muslim

Source: Newsday

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