BiaVest and Development Capital buy Nomadic Dairy in deal worth up to €29m

Food investment group and SME fund join forces to buy Donegal-based yoghurt maker

Specialist food investment group BiaVest has partnered with Development Capital to acquire Nomadic Dairy from Donegal Investment Group for an up-front consideration of €23 million.

A further €6 million in deferred consideration will be payable depending on Nomadic Dairy’s full-year 2022 financial performance. BiaVest will take a a 54 per cent stake, while Development Capital will take the remaining 46 per cent.

Employing 80 people in Killygordon, Co Donegal, Nomadic Dairy is a fast-growing, premium-branded yoghurt manufacturer, supplying multiple products across the UK and Republic. It is the number one yoghurt brand in the UK's convenience and impulse grocery channel.

The brand has experienced significant year-on-year growth since the company was established in 1998, doubling unit sales every five years since 2010.


It has grown its revenues by more than 50 per cent in the past four years, adding to its product range and expanding across the grocery, convenience and food-service distribution channels.

Some 80 per cent of Nomadic Dairy’s revenues are generated in the British market with its products listed by five of the top six UK grocery multiples and by most of the leading convenience and forecourt retailers.

The company is led by managing director Alan Cunningham, who will remain with the business alongside his team to work with the new owners on the next stage of Nomadic Dairy's development.

Nomadic Dairy is a community-based, sustainable foods business with products made using locally sourced Irish farm milk and recyclable, biodegradable packaging, which includes a small wooden spoon as part of the brand’s “on-the-go” products. All products are certified by Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.

The BiaVest and Development Capital co-investment partnership, along with Bank of Ireland bank funding, positions Nomadic Dairy to build on its strong growth to date, they said.

Board additions

BiaVest is a dedicated food-focused private investment fund founded by Hilliard Lombard and David McKernan. Mr Lombard and Warren Codd, BiaVest's chief executive and chief financial officer respectively, will join the Nomadic board.

Development Capital is a €75 million development and growth capital SME fund backed by Irish and international investors and established in 2013 by Andrew Bourg and Sinead Heaney. Mr Bourg will join the board, while Development Capital's Stuart Mellon will join it as an observer.

“Nomadic Dairy is Donegal to its core but, like BiaVest, is international in its outlook. We’re investing alongside Development Capital and bringing a shared passion for high-quality, nutritious food products and the ambition to bring them to new markets and new consumers,” said Mr Lombard.

“Nomadic Dairy represents the ideal type of business and growth opportunity for Development Capital to back,” Mr Bourg said.

Advisers to the buyers included Anglesea Corporate Finance, Bay Advisory, Flynn O’Driscoll, ET Optimo, KPMG and EY Parthenon. Advisers to Donegal Investment Group included Eversheds Sutherland and KPMG, while Bank of Ireland was advised by McCann FitzGerald.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics