The fourth largest malt producer, Untied Malt, turned into a great investment for equity firm Castle Harlan. Purchased in 2006 by Castle Harlan and its Australian affiliate Champ Private Equity, United Malt was the key to a return valued at about 4.5 percent of money invested.
Conagra Foods and Tiger Brands sold United Malt for a mere $90.54 million. Castle Harlan, who supplied 55 percent of the capital, and Champ, which supplied the rest, sold the company in November 2009 for an impressive $655 million. At 4.5 times money invested, the internal rate of return is approximately 80 percent.
In a discussion of the deal on BusinessWeek, it was noted that the deal to sell United Malt was far from certain. When Castle Harlan attempted to sell the firm earlier, the deal fell through.