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A sweet deal

There’s something a little different about entrepreneurs who hail from Kalgoorlie.
They know how to pull a deal together quickly, they’re not afraid to tip in their own money and contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t always have to be about mining.
Ex Kalgoorlie Mining Engineer Wayne Loxton has enjoyed considerable success with listed mining companies over the years and is one such former Kalgoorlie entrepreneur who can sniff a deal at 100 paces.
The Executive Chairman of Yowie, a brand of kids chocolate, has taken Yowie from a 20c backdoor listing in ate 2012 to a 70c, $70m company today, and they’ve only just started selling chocolates.
The unique Yowie chocolate encapsulates a kids collectable toy in every chocolate that consists of either an endangered species of animal or the mythical “Yowie” creature that wants to “save the natural world.”
The Yowie IP was created back in the 90’s by two inventors and licensed to Cadbury who sold 65 million units for $100m in their debut year on the Australian market.
After successfully operating the brand for many years, Cadbury mothballed the product when they failed to negotiate a deal to buy out the brand from its owners. As Cadbury retained the distribution rights, the product was effectively shelved until US food giant Kraft took over Cadbury in 2010.
In 2012 the owners and Licensors of the Yowie brand struck a deal to re-purchase the global distribution rights and Yowie trademark back from Kraft and new life was breathed into the once mega popular brand.
Often likened to Chocolate giant Ferrero’s “Kinder Surprise” brand of chocolate that according to Loxton sells around 1.2 billion units per year in Europe, Yowie has grabbed the attention of hard nosed investors who typically might be more at home backing a
copper mine in Brazil than a kids toy hidden in chocolate.
But grab their attention it has, with the stock rocketing to 70c on the back of a number of supply deals recently announced by the company.
Yowie is moving rapidly to lock down the massive US market, the only market where a patent is required to sell toys that are encapsulated in Chocolate. They have managed to secure a patent in the US, preventing other players such as Kinder Surprise from entering the market, but it expires in 2018 creating some urgency for the company to establish a first to market beachhead in the US.
Interestingly, Yowie’s are jumping onto the shelves of major retailers across the US with convenience store chains that dwarf our Coles and Woolworths such as the 1100 store Valeros starting to range the product. Yowie have also secured supply agreements with other chains such as Dylans Candy Bar’s, Lolli and Pops, Summerwinds Resorts and others.
An intriguing line in the company’s latest ASX release offers last in investors some hope that even after a massive share market run the Yowie share price could still have some legs left in it.
The company says that they have “secured deal terms” and that “purchase orders are imminent” from two “tier 1 national US retailers” but they don’t name the retailers yet.
Now that sounds like a sweet deal.

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