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Why The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN)’s Acquisitions Consistently Perform

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Brendan Byrnes: You mentioned acquiring all the brands that you did. Historically The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN)‘s been a highly acquisitive company. Also we’ve seen you go on a recent string of acquisitions in the U.K., but one of the companies you acquired was the Greek yogurt label, Greek Gods, and its sales have tripled since 2010, so can you kind of go over your strategy as far as what you look for in potential acquisitions and then how you’re so consistent with getting the most out of these acquisitions when some think you overpaid for them.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN)Irwin Simon: Well, and I don’t know how they came up with that decision that we overpaid. Number one is discipline. People say to me, what are some of your best deals? Some of the best deals were ones we didn’t do and walked away from. We walked away from numerous deals where I felt they were not creative, they were not strategic, they were not the right deals for us, they couldn’t add value. But I look at Hain and you can do analysis, you can do paralysis, but you’ve got to look at the big overall picture, and I’m one that gets to look at the big picture, how it represents the whole company.

In 1999, when we acquired Earth’s Best, and I like going back to Earth’s Best, it was a $14 million business. It was owned by H.J. Heinz and you had Gerber coming into the category with a brand called Tender Harvest. Gerber’s was a big baby food, a seven, eight hundred million dollar baby food, and Earth’s Best was getting its behind kicked. With that, we retrenched, only focused on natural food stores, and today Earth’s Best is probably the largest natural, organic baby food company there is within the U.S. if not the world. I was told you can’t beat Gerber. But we were not into conventional baby food; it was not our intention to beat Gerber. It was our intention to grow the largest natural organic baby food company.

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