In December 2017, AFT finalized the creation of All About Healthy Foods, LLC (AAHF) with an initial transfer of their membership shares in its cornerstone plant based protein group asset, Atlantic Natural Foods, LLC of Nashville, NC, (ANF) under the newly formed AAHF umbrella. AFT will continue to hold up to 90% of the new group, and has introduced a new partner Mr. Nabil Salib. The partnership will strengthen AAHF operations and supply-chain expertise.
“In my experience, concepts are readily available in today’s entrepreneurial environment, but factory, logistics, the basics of business are not aligned to support those concepts,” said J. Douglas Hines, AFT Holdings general partner and primary owner. “Mr. Salib has more than 25 years of experience in this area. His leadership will be an integral part of the future of AAHF, as he will work closely in the area of functional food groups resourcing development.
AFT through AAHF has committed upwards of $2.0MM in consolidation, upgrades, and restructure for their Nashville, NC facility. The investment will allow the company to continue to be competitive on the world stage as well as encourage new development in the plant based protein space.
Also in December, AAHF finalized a joint venture with Freedom Foods Group, LTD, AU. (FFAU) to create Freedom Foods North America LLC (FFNA), which will serve as the sales and marketing platform company for the North America market with healthy, functional foods from the Freedom Foods portfolio.
AFT / AAHF will utilize its core capabilities and assume under the newly formed venture Freedom Foods North America with resourcing Sardines, Herring and Salmon products under the Paramount and Brunswick canned seafood brands marketed by Freedom Foods in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, they will work closely with the group in development of critical “unique” functional grains and specific crop creations that will be grown and milled in North America, then exported to FFAU operations in Australia which will provide quality base material to meet the growing demand of the Freedom Foods Global requirements.
Rory MacLeod, MD of FFAU commented that the strategy will allow the group to obtain true global sourcing capabilities of all materials to grow future opportunities, which has been the vision for years.
The North America venture will be supported by the Australian management team, and led stateside by veteran Kelly Krause, who will serve as Country Director. Angelo De Blasio, on loan from FFAU, will be heading up the North America marketing effort.
Another key investment within the AFT portfolio, San Diego-based Intesa Communications Group, has continued to grow and will report up a successful year with top line growth at 40% over 2016. Intesa is proving a powerhouse in the local strategic communications, government affairs, and crisis management industry.
And finally, AFT again increased its investment of Seeder’s, its entry into European crowd funding financial services. “Over the past five years, we have seen our value grow in this group - -- especially after a bullish 2017 -- we look for continued success going forward,” Hines said.
Further the company can report that its credit facility with its 20-year partner of Whitney Bank in New Orleans, was extended into 2019 while further paying down its debt by $1.5MM.
About AFT Holdings, Inc.
AFT Holdings, Inc. is an international investment and management group with a diverse portfolio including commercial and residential real estate, sustainable foods development, global fishing fleets, financial services and technology. More at www.aftholdings.com.