Cussons purchases Australian baby food maker

British consumer products company Cussons has purchased Australian baby food manufacturer Rafferty's Garden for $70 million.

The Australian reports that Cussons owns a variety of well-known brands familiar to Australian consumers, including Morning Fresh, Radiant, Imperial Leather, Original Source and St Tropez. It acquired Rafferty's from private equity firm Anacacia Capital.

Last month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stopped a merger between Heinz and Rafferty's Garden.

The ACCC said at the time that if the merger were to go ahead then Heinz would hold an 80 percent market share of the wet infant food market.

Under this latest deal, the current management team from Rafferty's Garden will remain. This includes company founder Adrian Pike.

Alex Kanellis, PZ Cussons chief executive said in a statement that the purchase of Rafferty's Garden adds another leading brand to its portfolio.

"This leading position, together with an exciting pipeline of new products, provides the platform for further growth within Australia," she said.

"In addition, PZ Cussons' distribution in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, together with our understanding of consumers in those markets through our leading Cussons Baby brand, will enable the geographic expansion of Rafferty's Garden to be maximised."

Rafferty's earnings were $5.8m for the year to June 30, 2012. The company has assets of $20.75m and it is forecast to grow by 10 per cent in the financial year just ended.

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