John West Foods
Archer Capital, in partnership with Simplot Australia, completed the acquisition of John West Foods from Unilever Australasia in July 2003. The John West Foods business is a leading player in the canned fish and seafood market with brand rights for John West, Seakist and Ally in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Simplot is a large strategic operator in the Australian seafood market and a number of other major food categories. Archer Capital funded 50% of the purchase and led the arrangement of bank finance for the acquisition. Simplot acquired Archer Capital’s 50% stake in John West in October 2005.
The strategic partnership between a corporate buyer and a buyout firm, while common in the US and UK, was unusual in Australia and represented another step forward in the development of Australia’s buyout industry.