Natural Balance Foods makes a range of wholefood bars and snacks sold under the Nākd and Trek brands, with sales of £20m (about €28m) in the year ended March 31, 2015. Its flagship Nākd bars are free from gluten, dairy, wheat and added sugars.
Lotus Bakeries’ CEO Jan Boone said the deal would extend the company’s appeal beyond its traditionally indulgent brands, which are centred on its caramelized biscuit products, and continue expanding the Nākd and Trek brands in the UK and Europe.
“As a group, Lotus Bakeries has traditionally focused mainly on the indulgent segment of biscuits and snacking,” Boone said in a statement. “Additionally we recognise there is a growing global demand for healthy, unprocessed and tasty alternatives. The Nākd and Trek brands, which are complementary to our current product and brand portfolio, will ensure Lotus has the right product and brand offering for all consumers.”
He added that the brands would retain their identity with the help of the firm’s founders, Californian brothers Greg and Jamie Combs, who will continue to run the company.
They said in a statement: “Over a decade ago, we founded Natural Balance Foods with the dream of a ‘wholefood revolution’, where natural, delicious and affordable snacks would be mainstream and beloved around the world. This strategic partnership will be enormously helpful in that important effort.”
The Lotus deal acquires 67% of the company’s shares, mainly from external, non-active investors, while the founders have kept most of their shares, Lotus said.
Lotus Bakeries’ share price rose 2.11% in early trading on Tuesday to €1,403 – just €16 off a 52-week high of €1,419 – after rising 2.53% on Monday as news of the deal broke.