DBAG sells investment in ProXES


Buy-and-build concept successfully implemented: Four leading companies under an umbrella organisation
Capvis acquires market leader in process technology for food industry
Another positive value contribution to third-quarter 2016/2017 netincome
Frankfurt am Main, 18 May 2017.
Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) will very successfully conclude its investment in the ProXES Group (ProXES) by
selling its interests to Capvis Equity Partners IV LP, a fund advised by Swissprivate equity firm Capvis Equity Partners AG. The DBAG-managed DBAG Fund V also divests its interests. The company’s management will re-invest substantially. Agreements to that end were signed today. The transaction is subject to approval by the cartel authorities and is expected to close within the next three months. The parties to the contract have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The share of the agreed sales proceeds attributable to DBAG exceeds theinvestment’s valuation in DBAG’s IFRS interim accounts at 31 March 2017. The divestment will therefore result in a further contribution to net income of
approximately nine million euros in the third quarter of 2016/2017 ending 30 June 2017. The income contributions from this realisation and from the two most recently announced divestments (Formel D, Schülerhilfe) were not included in the earnings forecast for financial year 2016/2017 issued on 9 May 2017. In total, the three transactions will result
in a contribution to net income of about 27 million euros which has not been included in the forecast so far.
ProXES (www.proxes-group.com) is a leading provider of machines and production lines primarily for the food industry.
The group’s products are used to make and process liquid and semi-liquid food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical
products in a variety of processes. With its installed base of more than 100,000 machines worldwide, the group profits from its broad application knowledge and systems competence. It possesses expansive engineering expertise and is
able to provide integrated production lines, in addition to single machines.
Customers of the group’s companies include major globally operating producers of consumer goods.
DBAG and DBAG Fund V invested in the nucleus of the group, StephanMachinery GmbH, four years ago in a management buyout. The objective at the outset of the investment was to build a group of engineering companies that
have leading positions in their respective marketsand together are able to provide complete production lines and assume the technology and innovation leadership in the food processing segment. That goal has been reached. Three further companies were acquired in the past years, which complement the original product range. ProXES has forecast revenues of approximately 141 million euros for this year, more than triple the revenue that Stephan Machinery achieved in 2013. The alliance of the four group companies allows them to maintain a common international service and sales network,
collaborate in research and development and utilise economies of scale in other areas as well. Its large installed base serves as an excellent foundation for the spare-parts business.
“ProXES’ management has succeeded not only in acquiring three companies within a short period of time, but also in successfully integrating them,” said Dr Rolf Scheffels, Member of the DBAG Board of Management. “The buy-and-build concept has created a technology leader in mechanical engineering for the food industry, one that has tapped additional revenue potential thanks to its size.”
“We are well positioned to continue growing in the coming years,” said Olaf Pehmöller, CEO of ProXES, “and not only by better utilising our global sales network – we also intend to supplement our platform by adding further companies.”
The conclusion of the investment in ProXES is the fourth divestment of a company from the portfolio of DBAG Fund V within the past three months. Previously, the investments in the France-based FDGGroup, the Romaco Group and in FormelD were sold. From 2007 to 2013, the fund invested in eleven companies.
Deutsche Beteiligungs AG, a listed private equity company, initiates closed-end private equity funds and invests alongside the
DBAG funds in well-positioned mid-sized companies with potential for development. DBAG focuses on industrial sectors in which Germany’s ‘Mittelstand’ is particularly strong on an international comparison.
With its experience, expertise and equity, DBAG supports the portfolio companies in implementing corporate strategies that sustainably create value. Its entrepreneurial approach to investing has made DBAG a sought-after investment partner in the German-speaking world. Assets under management or advisement by the DBAG Group amount to approximately 1.8 billion euros.
Public Relations and Investor Relations · Thomas Franke
Börsenstrasse 1, 60313 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. +49 69 95 787-307 · +49 172 611 54 83 (mobile)
E-Mail: thomas.franke@dbag.de

Categories: News


EQT VI to sell Færch Plast to Advent International

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  • EQT
  • EQT VI to sell Færch Plast, a leading provider of customized plastic packaging solutions for the food industry, to Advent International
  • Færch Plast uses highly automated state-of-the-art production facilities and technology to provide customers with a uniquely tailored rigid plastic packaging offering
  • During the ownership of EQT VI, Færch Plast has been transformed into a European leader within its target segments through organic growth, cost improvements, product expansions and increased scale from two add-on acquisitions

EQT VI Limited (“EQT VI”) has entered into an agreement to sell Færch Plast (or the “Company”) to Advent International (“Advent”). Færch Plast, headquartered in Holstebro, Denmark, was founded in 1969 and today offers leading plastic packaging solutions across Europe. The Company operates within three segments; Fresh Meat, Food-to-Go and Ready Meals, and today has leading positions within its target segments.

EQT VI acquired Færch Plast in 2014 with the ambition to drive continued organic growth across Europe, increase profitability through product optimization and explore M&A opportunities to gain immediate scale. During the ownership of EQT VI, Færch Plast successfully executed on these targets through:

  • Strong continued organic growth through launches of new and innovative products
  • Significant investments in the production platform, footprint optimization and sales force expansion
  • Completion of two highly value accretive add-on acquisitions, and extracted significant cost and revenue synergies through implementation of best-practice production standards, an increased product offering and cross-selling
  • Doubling the number of employees

As a result of the value creation initiatives driven under EQT VI’s ownership, Færch Plast has approximately doubled both revenue and EBITDA since the acquisition.

“Færch Plast has been fundamentally transformed from a local champion to a pan-European leader in the rigid plastic trays market during the ownership of EQT VI. This has been a tremendous effort, led by CEO Lars Gade Hansen and his entire organization. Through two highly value-accretive add-on acquisitions, Færch Plast has expanded its product offering across Europe and implemented best-practice production standards to realize significant synergies. With the current platform, we believe Færch Plast is ready for its next growth journey and further internationalization, and we are confident that Færch Plast will continue to succeed in the future” says Mads Ditlevsen, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT VI.

“During the sales process, we have been looking for a new owner of the same quality and reputation as EQT, who can help us develop our business further and take Færch Plast to the next level. With Advent, we are convinced that we have found the right global partner, and we are excited about the journey in front of us”, says Lars Gade Hansen, CEO of Færch Plast.

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The agreement is subject to customary anti-trust clearance and the transaction is expected to close in Q3 2017.

The sellers were advised by Credit Suisse, FIH Partners, Plesner, PwC and COWI.

Mads Ditlevsen, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT VI, +45 33 12 45 36
EQT Press Office, +46 8 506 55 334, press@eqtpartners.com

About EQT
EQT is a leading alternative investments firm with approximately EUR 36 billion in raised capital across 23 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More information: www.eqtpartners.com 

About Færch Plast
Færch Plast was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Holstebro, Denmark. The Company is a provider of customized plastic packaging trays for the food industry and manufactures more than 5 billion trays annually. Færch Plast offers a full range of rigid plastic trays within Fresh Meat, Food-to-Go and Ready Meals, and today the Company has leading positions within its target segments across Europe. Færch Plast employs more than 1,100 people with local operations in more than 15 countries.

More information: www.faerchplast.com

Categories: News


Ard Group and Verdane partner to develop Mustad globally

Ard Group

Verdane Capital IX invests in Norwegian investment company Ard Group’s portfolio, including O. Mustad & Søn AS, a world leading producer of fishing hooks and fishing related accessories.

Ard Group and Verdane aim to jointly develop the portfolio’s strong companies, and through the transaction, Verdane Capital IX becomes the majority owner in Ard Group portfolio companies O. Mustad & Søn AS and Sunkost AS.

For Mustad, a Norwegian company with roots dating back to the 19th century, the investment marks the next phase of development. John Are Lindstad, with a background from Fenix Outdoor Group/Fjällräven, was appointed CEO of Mustad in April.

Lindstad said: Mustad is a company with an inspiring history and a 140-year tradition. I am very enthusiastic about leading this great team and company to the next level, with expansion built around Mustad’s globally strong brand.

As a global leader in fishing hooks, Mustad produces over 1.5 billion hooks per year for recreational and commercial use. The company has 460 employees, and revenues of Nkr 312m in 2016.

Børre Nordheim-Larsen, CEO of Ard Group, added: I am very pleased to have Verdane on board as the new co-owner. The experience, network and track-record of Verdane is exactly the right match for Mustad and Ard Group. As a new owner and partner Verdane will be instrumental in taking our companies to the next level.”

Arne Handeland, Partner at Verdane Capital Advisors said:Through the efforts of the employees of Mustad, and owner Ard Group, Mustad has positioned itself with a strong brand-name and considerable possibilities to grow internationally. We are very excited to have the opportunity to play a part in unlocking that potential.”

About Ard Group
Ard Group is a privately-owned investment company with roots going back to 1946. In the last ten years, the company has been geared towards becoming a family office/industrial investment company. Ard Group is owned by a Norwegian private individual, Børre Nordheim-Larsen. More information about Ard Group is available at: www.ardgroup.no

About Verdane
Verdane funds provide flexible growth capital to fast growing software, consumer internet, energy or high-technology industry businesses. The funds are distinctive in that they can invest both in single companies, and portfolios of companies. Verdane funds have €900m under management and have invested in over 300 holdings over the past 14 years. Verdane Capital Advisors has 25 employees working out of offices in Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki. More information can be found at: www.verdanecapital.com.

Categories: News


Swander Pace Capital Sells Kicking Horse Coffee to Lavazza

Swander Pace logo

Swander Pace Capital Sells Kicking Horse Coffee to Lavazza

Bedminster, NJ (May 24, 2017) – Swander Pace Capital, a leading private equity firm specializing in consumer products companies, has sold Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd., the #1 organic and fair trade coffee roaster in Canada, to Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. in a transaction valuing the company at C$215 million.  The firm partnered with Co-Founder Elana Rosenfeld in 2012 and made the investment through its Branch Brook Holdings partnership with Jefferson Capital Partners and United Natural Foods, Inc.

During the last five years, Kicking Horse Coffee achieved industry-leading growth across North America and benefited from material investments in its business, particularly sales, marketing, and operations infrastructure.  Consumers in North America continue to seek a better coffee experience, and Kicking Horse Coffee has consistently delivered one for over twenty years, priding itself on offering an exceptional cup of coffee that can be brewed in one’s own home.

“Swander Pace and the rest of the Branch Brook team were the perfect partners for me when I sought help and wanted to grow my business beyond Western Canada.  I was not willing to sacrifice our values, culture, and uncompromising product quality standards,” said Elana Rosenfeld, Co-Founder and CEO of Kicking Horse Coffee. “The expertise they brought to the table was real, introduced in a respectful way, and truly helped us grow.  They also repeatedly demonstrated their integrity and approach to partnership.”

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Elana, the team, and this incredible brand as we expanded its footprint in stores across North America.  The brand’s success and growth momentum in North America speaks for itself,” added Rob DesMarais, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “We are now excited to watch the company thrive as it enters this new chapter with Lavazza.”

Linda Boardman, President of Branch Brook Holdings, added further, “We are genuinely pleased by this outcome with Kicking Horse Coffee as it has been a real pleasure to work with such a passionate and committed group of people.  This milestone demonstrates the breadth of resources that our team can bring to the table to capitalize on a company’s strong foundation, accelerate its growth, and create a truly sustainable market position, all while preserving the brand’s quality commitment.”

About Swander Pace Capital 

Swander Pace Capital (SPC) is a private equity firm that invests in companies that are integral to
consumers’ lives. SPC’s consumer industry expertise informs the firm’s strategic approach and
adds value through access to its proven SPC Playbook, senior team, and extensive network. The firm partners with management teams to help build companies to their full potential. SPC invests in businesses across three domains of consumer lifestyles: Food & Beverage, Body & Wellness, and Home & Family. With offices in San Francisco, New Jersey, and Toronto, SPC has invested in more than 45 companies and raised cumulative equity commitments of approximately $1.8 billion since 1996. For more information, visit www.spcap.com.

About Branch Brook

Branch Brook Holdings, LLC represents a strategic partnership formed in early 2012 between Swander Pace Capital, Jefferson Capital Partners, and United Natural Foods, Inc. to make investments in organic, natural, and specialty consumer product companies.  Branch Brook works closely with the owners, founders, and management teams of its companies to provide the capital, resources, distribution support, and strategic guidance they need for its businesses to grow.  Kicking Horse Coffee was the first investment made by Branch Brook.  Subsequently, Branch Brook has made investments in Oregon Ice Cream, which owns the two leading organic ice cream brands in the US (Alden’s and Julie’s), and Reliance, which owns PlantFusion, a leading plant-based protein powder and beverage brand in the natural channel.  Branch Brook represents an extension of Swander Pace Capital and has full access to all of these resources.  For more information, please visit www.branchbrookllc.com.

About Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd. is based in Invermere, British Columbia (Canada) and celebrated its 20 year anniversary as a company in 2016.  Kicking Horse Coffee remains a pioneer of whole bean and fair trade coffee in Canada and is best known for its distinctive coffee blends and unique brand personality.  The Company was recently named the #10 Best Place to Work in Canada.  For more information, visit www.KickingHorseCoffee.com.



Media Contact:

Jeff Segvich

LANE, a Finn Partners Company (on behalf of Swander Pace Capital)

Phone: 503.546.7870



Categories: News


InVivo Group to acquire Baarsma Wine Group

AAC Logo

Paris, Huizen – 23 May 2017. French agricultural cooperative group InVivo Group (www.invivo-group.com) intends to buy a 100% share in the Dutch-based Baarsma Wine Group (www.baarsma.com). The company has reached an agreement to this effect with Baarsma Wine Group’s current shareholders, private equity firm AAC Capital Partners, and the management. Over the next few years, InVivo Group wishes to grow its international wine activities both autonomously and through acquisitions. The intended acquisition will be submitted for approval by the Competition authority. Neither company is disclosing financial details of the transaction.

InVivo Group, with an annual turnover of €6.4 billion and 9,200 employees, has a presence in 31 countries across the globe. Its activities are concentrated within four divisions: Agriculture, Animal Nutrition and Health, Retail and Wine. The wine division, InVivo Wine, already has stakes in various French wine companies and commercial activities in Asia and North America. Representing an annual turnover of approximately €348 million, the focus is on the production and bottling of wines and the market representation of over 23 cooperatives (3500 wine makers). Vinadeis (www.vinadeis.fr), as part to its wine division, has bottling and packaging facilities for wines that, under various brand names, mainly reach the French domestic market. Cordier is developing an outstanding range from Bordeaux with a modern approach and Mestrezat is specialised in Grands Crus wines.

The Dutch-based Baarsma Wine Group is a European leader in wine imports and distribution. The group has an annual revenue of approximately €210 million, 250 fulltime employees and is active in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Switzerland and South Africa. The strength of the company lies in marketing wines nationally and internationally to retail, the hospitality and foodservice sector, specialist stores and in some countries directly to consumers. The product portfolio includes wines of internationally renowned and successful wineries, own brands and private label wines for supermarkets and foodservice companies. In addition to sourcing, distribution, sales and marketing, Baarsma Wine Group also runs its own bottling facility in Zaandam, the Netherlands, and produces and bottles some of its wines in Switzerland and South Africa.

Commenting on the intended acquisition, Mr Bertrand Girard, Managing Director of InVivo Wine, said: ‘InVivo Wine’s strategy is to accelerate its development internationally so as to build access to markets and create added value for the wine industry from grapes to consumers. Baarsma will be a key distribution platform for InVivo Wine in Europe and will perfectly complement existing footholds and those currently in development within the group, especially in Asia and North America. With Baarsma, 80% of InVivo Wine’s current operations will be international, aiming to achieve a turnover of 500 million euros by 2020 on the international scene.’

Mr Cees de Rade, Managing Director of Baarsma Wine Group, looks forward to working with the new shareholder: ‘This acquisition is good news for our people in the first place. We think that Baarsma Wine Group stands to benefit from bringing on board a strategic shareholder who shares our international ambitions. InVivo Wine and Baarsma Wine Group complement each other well in the wine supply chain. Our joint growth plans are very ambitious. However, with our existing suppliers and customers it will mostly be business as usual.’

InVivo Wine and Baarsma Wine Group , subsidiaries included, will continue to operate autonomously and under their own names. There will not be an organisational merger. In the years to come, the expansion outside of France will be driven mainly from the Netherlands, with a leading role for the management of Baarsma Wine Group. Mr Cees de Rade (CEO) and Mr Ed van der Sluijs (CFO), will also become members of InVivo Wine’s Executive Committee, chaired by Bertrand Girard.

Both companies expect to complete the acquisition by early summer.


Note to the editors:

For further information, please contact:

Baarsma Wine Group                                                        Creative Venue PR

Mr. Cees de Rade – CEO                                                     Mr Frank Witte, spokesperson

holding@baarsma.com                                                       f,witte@creativevenue,nl

Tel. +31 (0) 35 626 1270                                                    Tel. +31 20 4525225



About Baarsma Wine Group

Baarsma Wine Group is a leading distributor of quality wines, active in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Switzerland and South Africa. Established some 30 years ago in the Netherlands, Baarsma Wine Group has evolved into one of the main players in the European wine market, with a turnover approaching 210 million Euros and over 250 full time employees.

Baarsma Wine Group’s strength lies in marketing wines internationally to retail, out-of-home, the hospitality and foodservice sector, specialty stores and in some countries directly to consumers. The product portfolio includes wines of internationally renowned and successful wineries, Baarsma’s own brands and private label wines for supermarkets and foodservice companies. Further reading: www.baarsma.com

About InVivo Wine

InVivo Wine was launched in June 2015, as the fourth hub of InVivo, the leading French agricultural cooperative group. It consists of a group of partners, investors and contributors, the first of which were the 1st French winery cooperative, Vinadeis (€308 million turnover), the Bordeaux firms of Cordier and Mestrezat Grands Crus (€40 million turnover) and 23 members of cooperatives (3500 wine-makers) covering a wine-producing area of 25,000 hectares. The area includes the Bordeaux District, South-western France, Languedoc and Roussillon, the Rhône Valley and Beaujolais, representing the finest production of more than 1.3 million hectolitres of wine. The division’s main objective consists of building a unique global world-wide wine distributor with wine from all most renown origins in top wine consuming countries.

About InVivo

The InVivo group comprises 220 cooperatives bringing together over 300,000 farmers. The Group employs 9,200 people in 31 countries and works in four main activities: Agriculture (seeds, agricultural supplies, international grain trading), Animal Nutrition and Health, Retail, and Wine. It reported revenue of €6.4 billion in FY 2015-2016.

Categories: News


Rabobank Launches Venture Capital Fund for Innovative Food & Agriculture Companies

Today, Rabobank is announcing the launch of the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, part of Rabo Private Equity. The fund will invest in high-potential, early-stage food and agriculture companies in the United States and Western Europe. Through the fund, Rabobank aims to promote innovation in the food and agriculture sectors.

“The Rabobank Food & Agri Fund focuses on companies that are aligned to Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy. This strategy focuses on contributing to food security in the context of a rapidly growing world population, changing demographics and consumption patterns and an increasingly complex food system,” says Lizette Sint, Global Head of Rabo Private Equity.

“We consider investments all along the food and agriculture value chain, with a particular focus on ambitious companies that operate in sectors in which we can optimally leverage Rabobank’s knowledge, expertise, network and position to help create shareholder value,” says Richard O’Gorman, who leads the investment initiative as part of Rabo Private Equity.

The fund’s investments will consist of more than just financial support. In addition to Rabobank’s role as a close investment partner, the selected companies will enjoy full access to Rabobank’s food and agriculture experts and networks with the goal of building long term value together.

The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund is complementary to the other activities the bank supports in the food and agri space, including its indirect investments in strategic venture capital and private equity funds.

For more information about the Rabobank Food & Agri Innovation Fund, please visit www.rfaif.com.

About Rabobank

Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with over $750 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industry, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Additional information is available on our Rabobank North America Wholesale website or on our social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn.

Categories: News


Broodstock Capital becomes majority owner in Billund Aquaculture A/S

Seafood investor Broodstock Capital invests in international recirculation system player Billund
Aquakulturservice A/S (“Billund Aquaculture”) to become majority shareholder with 51 percent
ownership share. Billund Aquaculture Chile S.A (“Billund Chile”) will be part of the new group.
The purchase price is undisclosed. Billund Aquaculture has 30 years’ experience in design, installations,
operations and service of intensive land based “Recirculation Aquaculture Systems” , also known as “RAS”. The company has so far delivered more than 120 recirculated systems in 26 countries worldwide, providing
intensive production facilities for more than 25 different cold and warm ,
fresh and saltwater fish species.
“Billund Aquaculture has built up an impressive position in the growing RAS market. The company has
a highly diversified order backlog and client list for its recirculation systems. We want to build on
the company’s impressive heritage through a partnership approach with the current owners, as we believe
this will be most beneficial for the company’s clients,” says Simen Bjørnstad, partner in Broodstock
Capital, which is a pure play seafood investor focusing on small and medium sized companies.
The current majority shareholder of Billund Aquaculture, Stensgaard Holding A/S, will retain a 49
percent ownership share in the company.
Christian Sørensen will continue in his current role as executive chairman.
Managing director Bjarne Hald Olsen will also remain in his role in Billund Aquaculture as well as Managing director Marcelo Varela will remain in his role in Billund Chile.
Members from Broodstock Capital will strengthen the company’s board of directors.
“Our investment in the company is in line with our strategy to grow businesses by co-operating with current owners and management teams in the ongoing industrialization of the sector. We have a clear objective of growing the business, which in turn will create more jobs,” says Kjetil Haga, partner in Broodstock Capital.
Billund Aquaculture is headquartered in Billund in Denmark.
Billund Chile is located in Puerto Montt, Chile. The group currently employs approximately120 people and has combined revenues of more than DKK 180 million.Executive chairman Christian Sørensen says that Broodstock Capital’s approach feels like an ideal match for him and his colleagues.
Our clients request larger and more sophisticated RAS systems which requires increased financial solidity and flexibility. Broodstock will provide us with capital required to give our clients exactly what they need.
They are financial investors with a long term industrial perspective and sector specific expertise which will be of huge benefit to our business. I look forward to the next chapter in our company’s history,” says Christian Sørensen, executive chairman of Billund Aquaculture.

Categories: News


Cerelia acquires English Bay Batter


Cerelia acquires English Bay Batter

French food company Cerelia, leading producer of ready-to-bake dough and ready-to- heat pancakes in Europe, supported by the IK VII Fund since 2015, is accelerating its development through the acquisition of English Bay Batter, the North American cookie specialist.

The merger will create an international group able to meet the needs of its historical clients by offering an enlarged range of products through three different distribution channels: Retail, In-store Bakery and Food-service.

Founded in 1983 by Jack Seguin in Vancouver, English Bay Batter (EBB) has developed a unique know-how producing cookies, muffins, brownies and other pastries. The company’s products are widely distributed in the US and Canada through Retail and Food-service channels. Building on its raw and cooked frozen products expertise, EBB recently and successfully launched a range of refrigerated dough products.

The acquisition is consistent with Cerelia’s growth strategy, based on the pooling of skills and market expertise. As part of the Cerelia group, EBB will further its development in the US and Canada thanks to substantial investment plans aimed at supporting innovation and industrial transformation. Conversely, EBB’s expertise in its market will enable Cerelia to broaden its product offering in Europe and Asia.

Cerelia’s CEO Guillaume Réveilhac is enthusiastic about this acquisition: “English Bay Batter is a leading player in North America, which is a strategic market for Cerelia. Our two companies’ DNAs are comparable in all respects. We are happy to welcome the EBB team, knowing that our group is initiating a new phase of development.”

“After two build-up acquisitions in Europe completed by Cerelia in the past 18 months – Bioderij in the Netherlands in 2015 and BakeAway in the UK n 2016, the acquisition of EBB is a key milestone in its plan for growth to accelerate its development in North America, adding local manufacturing capabilities, existing customer relationships and a deep market understanding to Cerelia’s innovation capabilities. Combined sales of the group to reach over 400 million euros” said Rémi Buttiaux, Partner at IK Investment Partners.

This acquisition is fully funded through a senior debt issuance as part of a full refinancing of its current debt package. Due to the solid track record of Cerelia and a favourable debt market, the company significantly improves its financing terms and documentation.

Cerelia was advised by Lincoln International, Stikeman Elliott / Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Bain Consulting throughout the acquisition process. Lazard and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised Cerelia throughout the debt refinancing process. Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel CIC, Crédit Agricole CIB, ING, Natixis and Société Générale arrange the new senior debt financing.

The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

For any questions, please contact:

Marianne Szychowski
Executive assistant to the CEO
Phone: +33 (0)3 21 72 75 75

IK Investment Partners
Mikaela Hedborg
Director Communications & ESG
Phone: +44 77 87 573 566

About Cerelia
Cerelia is the European leader in the production of ready-made doughs and pancakes, with sales of over 300 million euros in 2017. Cerelia offers a large range of products: rolled dough, pizza dough, pastries, crepes and pancakes. Cerelia has launched an organic line, and also offers gluten-free and lactose-free products. Cerelia’s products are commercialized under its clients’ brands, both retailers and industrial companies, as well as under its own brands: Croustipate, Jan, Pop Bakery and Creapan in particular. To learn more, visit www.cerelia.com and www.bioderij.nl

About English Bay Batter
Founded in 1983, English Bay Batter is a producer of ready to bake dough and other cooked products in the US and Canada. Product offering mainly consists in cookies, croissants, muffins, brownies, biscuits and pie crusts. Like Cerelia’s, EBB’s products find their origin in traditional as well as in specific production (gluten-free, GMO-free etc.). Based in Vancouver (British Columbia), the company employs 430 people across four industrial sites in Vancouver, Toronto and Columbus (Ohio/USA). EBB has developed long-term commercial relationships with clients across four main distribution channels: Retail (through private label), In-store bakeries, QSRs and Food-service. To learn more, visit www.englishbaycookies.com

About IK Investment Partners
IK Investment Partner is a pan-European private equity firm investing across Northern Europe, the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), France and Benelux. Since 1989, IK has raised over 9 billion euros in capital and invested in over 100 companies in Europe. IK invests alongside management teams in mid-size companies benefitting from strong growth potential and operating in four core sectors: services, care, industrial goods and consumer goods. To learn more, visit www.ikinvest.com

Categories: News


Joining forces to challenge the dominating grocery chains

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Merger plans between Adams Matkasse and Godtlevert.no in Norway: Joining forces to challenge the dominating grocery chains

Merger plans between Adams Matkasse and Godtlevert.no in Norway: Joining forces to challenge the dominating grocery chains

The two online dinner bag providers, Adams Matkasse and Godtlevert.no are joining forces and intend to finalize a merger. With this, they will be able to challenge the three dominating grocery chains in Norway.
“Both Adams and Godtlevert.no have since the start had a strong ambition and desire to increase the competition in the Norwegian grocery market. Through this merger, we will become a real contender to the established grocery chains”, says the Godtlevert.no founder Kjetil Graver. He is convinced that the merger will result in substantial cost synergies, which is crucial to compete against the grocery chains’ scale advantages.Kjetil Graver and his co-founders are now merging the company they established in 2010 with the Bergen-based dinner bag provider Adams Matkasse. The shareholders of Godtlevert.no will receive shares in Linas Matkasse as payment. Linas Matkasse, a company backed by the Norwegian private equity firm Herkules Capital, owns more than 90% of Adams Matkasse.Adams Matkasse and Godtlevert.no have an annual revenue base of NOK 330 and 390 million and close to 25 000 and 30 000 customers respectively. The two brands will continue to operate as separate concepts, and resources will be committed to further strengthen and enhance the two brands.Adams Matkasse has 74 employees, while Godtlevert.no employs about 65 people. Both companies have during the last years focused heavily on finding local suppliers across the country who have a great sense of traditional heritage. This has contributed to additional growth and has increased employment at several smaller food suppliers outside the larger cities.

“Our disruptive business model is based on excluding expensive intermediaries like the large wholesalers. Instead, we offer high quality products delivered directly from the manufacturers. These quality conscious and traditional suppliers are too small to get shelf space at the large grocery chains. Thus, the merger will provide these manufacturers with a much greater opportunity to reach a national audience”, says Managing Director at Adams Matkasse, Veslemøy Tvedt Fredriksen.

With this transaction, Herkules takes another big bite of the Nordic grocery market. In 2015,  Herkules acquired 35% of the shares of Linas Matkasse. Linas will own 100% of the newly merged company.

“This transaction fits into our long-term strategy to focus on the grocery market both in Norway and internationally. We feel that this structure and business model can credibly challenge the established players and make money at the same time. Herkules can contribute with both growth capital and considerable industry knowledge”, says Sverre B. Flåskjer Managing Partner at Herkules Capital.

The merger is subject to approval from the Norwegian competition authority.

Categories: News


Ferd invests into improving fish health and sustainability within aquaculture

Forbedret fiskehelse og bærekraft i global oppdrettsnæring

Ferd has, through an equity issue and market transactions, achieved an ownership in Benchmark Holdings Plc of approx. 17%. Benchmark contributes to improved fish health and sustainability across aquaculture species, through sales of specialised nutrition, genetics and health products.

Benchmark is headquartered in the UK and was founded in 2000 by a visionary and energetic management team that during the past couple of years has completed a number of acquisitions in Norway, Belgium and Iceland. Benchmark has approximately 900 employees across 27 countries and reported a 2016 revenue of GBP 109 million and an EBITDA before R&D expenses of GBP 22m. Benchmark is listed on the UK AIM list with a market capitalisation just north of GBP 500 million.

The global aquaculture industry has grown by approximately 9% annually during the past 15 years, driven by an increasing population, increasing incomes and high demand for healthy food. The growth in aquaculture going forward is expected to become somewhat more moderate, mainly because there across all species have been substantial challenges related to fish health and sustainability. The salmon farming industry has developed more solutions for maintaining biological control than farmers for other species. However, the salmon industry still faces challenges with sea lice, disease outbreaks, reducing harvest weights, a loss from mortalities and escapes of approx. 20% per generation, in addition to rapidly increasing costs related to treatments. For other aquaculture species than salmon, efforts are only just beginning in relation to securing biological control and sustainability.

Ferd believes that Benchmark is uniquely positioned to contribute with sustainable and cost efficient solutions for improving fish health across aquaculture species. Benchmark’s activities mainly focuses on three segments:

  • A leading global position within sales of specialised feed and health products for shrimp and seabass / seabream through the subsidiary INVE. Benchmark delivers starter feeds for hatcheries, where there are particularly high quality requirements for growing robust fish
  • A leading global position with salmonid breeding and genetics, through the subsidiaries Salmobreed and Stofnfiskur, where advanced genetic selection is applied in order to pick individuals that grow fast and are resistant to particular biological challenges such as sea lice. Within breeding and genetics, Benchmark has recently expanded into the market for tilapia and shrimp
  • A major effort in developing treatments and vaccines. Benchmark has for many years sold the Salmosan sea lice treatment, and has since 2011 invested heavily into developing a pipeline of vaccines and for the construction of a state-of-the-art vaccine production facility. Benchmark launched its first in-house developed vaccine in 2016, and several launches are expected in the years to come targeting some of the largest challenges within aquaculture

Categories: News