Biripi Capital ‘closes the gap’ for aboriginal business investment

Aboriginal-owned private equity firm Biripi Capital has secured a $20 million investment from Hudson Food Group to back the growth ambitions of indigenous food manufacturer The Dreaming Food Group.

This breakthrough investment in an indigenous owned and led business comes after negotiations between Biripi, Melbourne-based Hudson Food and Dreaming Food Group founders, Aboriginal business leaders David Liddiard OAM and Michael Manikas, both Biripi men.

Liddiard is a former professional rugby league footballer while Michael Manikas is deputy chair, NSW diversity and inclusion committee, Property Council of Australia.

The Dreaming Food Group was established by Biripi Capital in 2021 to compete at scale in mainstream food services distribution, food manufacturing and brand creation.

With the first stage of its manufacturing capability set to come online in early 2022, The Dreaming Food Group is targeting A$100 million in revenue within the next two years.

The Dreaming Food Group is a for-purpose enterprise with one third of profits to go to The Dreaming Foundation, a not-for-profit charity established to fund Aboriginal-led organisations in delivering programs and initiatives that directly contribute to Closing the Gap.

This transaction is believed to be the largest impact investment into an Aboriginal business ever made in Australia.

Michael Manikas, executive chairman of The Dreaming Food Group said: “We’ve been working closely with the Hudson Food Group over the past six months to develop an investment structure that embeds maximum social impact into the very core of our operating model.

“This investment will be critical for our growth and impact ambitions over the next two years.”

Hudson Food CEO Frank Karkalas said it hoped to help fund the growth and development of the business and make a meaningful difference.

“More needs to be done by corporate Australia, and through this investment, more can be done”.

With its head office in Sydney on Eora Country, The Dreaming Food Group is focused on:

  • Food services (providing hospitality venues with over 5500 pantry style food supplies)
  • Food manufacturing
  • And the development of consumer food products and brands and native ingredients.

The investment has ‘a specific emphasis on establishing a world-class manufacturing capability’.

The Dreaming Food Group is on track to be profitable within its first year, which in turn will translate to immediate funding for The Dreaming Foundation to begin its work in achieving impact.

The Dreaming Food Group business will also support indigenous employment, supply chain and other social outcomes.

Picture: David Liddard OAM

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