MERIT Completes $20 Million Series A Funding Round Led By L Catterton’s Growth Fund

LCatterton

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MERIT, the minimalist beauty brand led by CEO Katherine Power, is announcing a $20 million Series A funding round led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. Marcy Venture Partners and Sonoma Brands also participated in the round. The transaction underscores strong investor confidence in MERIT’s success and consumer interest in the simplification of beauty routines, and the investment will accelerate MERIT’s rapid expansion into an omni-channel, cross-category beauty brand.

MERIT launched as a minimalist beauty line in January 2021 with a “five-minute morning” color cosmetics assortment. Since then, the brand has experienced exponential growth, driving an innovative direct-to-consumer strategy alongside aggressive retail expansion, including into Sephora U.S., Sephora Canada, and Sephora at Kohl’s.

The brand has challenged conventional beauty marketing and product formulation since its inception, pioneering a curated routine focused on ease of use and a holistic approach to clean and responsible luxury at an accessible price point that encourages brand loyalty through repeat purchase. With this funding round, MERIT will continue to grow its color cosmetics collection and expand into new categories. Additionally, L Catterton Vice President Courtney Nelson is joining MERIT’s Board of Directors.

“Our customer is a discerning individual who is selective about the brands and products they welcome into their life. At MERIT, we aim to serve our consumer in many aspects of their beauty and self-care routines,” says MERIT founder and CEO Katherine Power. “Our team is looking forward to collaborating with L Catterton and our other partners as we leverage their collective expertise scaling consumer brands to support the development of new products within and beyond clean color.”

This is Power’s fourth digitally native and data-informed brand serving millennial consumers. She previously founded media property Who What Wear, skincare brand Versed, and co-founded the natural wine label Avaline alongside Cameron Diaz.

MERIT has demonstrated an impressive track record in the beauty industry since its launch, and L Catterton looks forward to supporting the Company as it capitalizes on the growing color cosmetics category, expands into additional key growth categories, and becomes a defining example of a true modern lifestyle brand.

L Catterton has significant experience investing globally in the beauty and personal care category. Current and past investments include TULA, IL MAKIAGE, Function of Beauty, The Honest Company, Intercos, Marubi, Elemis, and many others.

About MERIT

MERIT is the antidote to the oversaturated world of beauty — well-edited essentials that have earned a place on your vanity. By taking a holistic approach to responsible luxury, MERIT creates products that are safe for the body, skin and planet. We simplify what it means to get ready.

For more information visit meritbeauty.com and @MERIT on social media.

About L Catterton

With approximately $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in leading consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit lcatterton.com.

Contacts:

MERIT
Allison Dent
Sunshine Sachs
merit@sunshinesachs.com

L Catterton
Andi Rose / Haley Salas
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
+1 212-355-4449

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True takes D2C clean energy drink Sneak to next level.

True

True has acquired a majority stake in D2C zero sugar, energy drink

business Sneak to help supercharge international expansion, build out Sneak’s distribution channels and support the business as it continues to disrupt the traditional energy drink market with its creative approach to marketing and ecommerce.

Sneak, which was founded in 2018 by experienced consumer entrepreneurs Will Peirce and Jonny Teeling, is the product of many years of working together having founded a number of successful direct-to-consumer brands within the health and wellbeing space. In Sneak the pair have developed a strong brand identity, featuring an instantly recognisable rabbit logo, and built an engaged customer base who are fully invested in Sneak’s business model, buying into market ‘drops’, with Sneak’s limited-edition boxes often selling at five times their original sale cost on secondary markets. The result of this creative approach to commerce is that the business has grown over 200% annually in the last three years and is expected to generate £30m in sales next year.

Manchester-based Sneak has created an alternative to many of the legacy energy drinks on the market by producing a clean, powdered energy formula in tubs and sachets, as well as pre-mixed cans. Its range of exciting flavours, which are sugarfree and made entirely with natural colours and flavours are more suited to the next generation of consumers that care about the ingredients in their products. Notably in tandem, Sneak’s strong and vibrant brand identity resonates with its core customer-base of new-media creatives and gamers and features across its range of merchandise and lifestyle apparel.

The deal, which represents the first investment by True from its recently announced Fund III, will support co-founders Peirce and Teeling to explore retail options and build out Sneak’s distribution channels, from the strong digitally-led foundation it has today, as well as accelerate international expansion. Currently over half of Sneak’s customers are in the UK with a third in the US and growing.

Sneak Co-founder Jonny Teeling says: “Will and I are delighted to have found an investment partner that slots in so naturally to our company. The team at True seemed to get us and the Sneak brand straight away. They place people and culture at the top of the priority list, which was highly important to us and overall, they seem very different, and more human, to how we’d imagined private equity investors to be. We’re really excited to have True alongside us for this next phase of our journey.”

True Co-founder Paul Cocker and Sneak board member says: “Jonny and Will have done a fantastic job of bringing a clean, differentiated energy drink to market and creating a brand that truly resonates with Sneak’s core customer base of next generation gamers and creatives. They’ve also built a fantastic team and a culture that’s very aligned with our own – they’ve been deliberate in trying to find a partner that can help them with the next stage of their growth and we are looking forward to utilising both our digital expertise and our international network across grocery and retail.”

Sneak joins True’s portfolio of disruptive consumer brands that include: virtual fitness community Zwift, healthy food group Soulfresh, women’s loungewear hush, organic kidswear label Frugi, British cycling brand Ribble and online furniture retailer The Cotswold Company. By joining the portfolio Sneak will become part of a network that spans from the emerging technologies and early-stage disruptors of the industry such as workplace mental health platform Unmind and fulfilment technology Huboo Technologies, through to the leading retailers and consumer groups that sit in True’s innovation programme such as Morrisons, Coca-Cola European Partners and 7-Eleven.

The acquisition comes at a time following a number of key milestone accomplishments at True including raising a new £275m private equity fund and becoming one of only a few investment firms globally to achieve B Corporation Certification.

True was advised by Stephens, Jones Day and PwC. Sneak was advised by Spayne Lindsay & Co, Addleshaw Goddard, and KPMG. You can find out more about why True invested in Sneak here and for any questions around the deal please contact Investment Principal Richard Brick.

09 September 2021

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EQT Public Value invests in Storytel – becomes second largest shareholder

eqt

EQT is pleased to announce that EQT Public Value (“EQT Public Value”) has acquired 6.6 million shares in Storytel AB (“Storytel” or “the Company”), representing an ownership of close to 10 percent of shares outstanding. Joakim Rubin, Partner within EQT Public Value Advisory Team, is nominated to join the board of directors, subject to approval of an extraordinary general meeting.

Storytel, listed on Nasdaq First North has a strong track record of organic and inorganic growth in the large and fast-growing audiobook market. Storytel is one of the world’s largest subscribed audiobook and e-book streaming services and offers listening and reading of more than 700,000 titles on a global scale. The Company’s vision is to make the world a more empathetic and creative place with great stories to be shared and enjoyed by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Storytel’s streaming business is conducted under the brands Storytel and Mofibo. Storytel’s publishing business area is carried out through the audiobook publisher StorySide and acclaimed Nordic publishing houses such as Norstedts, People’s and Gummerus. Storytel operates in 25 markets around the globe and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

EQT Public Value seeks to identify minority investments in public companies with market leading positions, strong management teams and significant potential for top-line and earnings growth. Through shareholder engagement, EQT Public Value aims to work closely with existing shareholders, boards and management teams in order to allow that companies reach their full potential and deliver shareholder value. In addition to Storytel, EQT Public Value has previously disclosed positions in Securitas, BHG Group, Storebrand, Biogaia and AFRY.

The EQT Public Value advisory team looks forward, pending the Extraordinary General Meeting, to working together with shareholders, board and management on the next phase of Storytel’s growth journey.

Contact
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

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L Catterton signs definitive agreement to sell StriVectin to Crown Laboratories.

LCatterton

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. and GREENWICH, Conn., Aug. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Crown Laboratories, (“Crown”), a leading, fully integrated, global skincare company and a Hildred Capital Management LLC (“Hildred”) portfolio company, and L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Crown will acquire StriVectin. The transaction is expected to close by mid-September 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Other equity sponsors in Crown include Greenspring Associates and Montreux Growth Partners.

Upon completion of the transaction, StriVectin’s products will become part of Crown’s new Premium Skincare Division and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Crown Laboratories. StriVectin’s President, Cori Aleardi, will become President and Chief Commercial Officer of Crown and will join the Crown Executive Leadership Team. StriVectin will continue to be based in New York City.

“Partnering with StriVectin is an exciting and significant next step in diversifying and scaling our organization,” said Jeff Bedard, Crown Laboratories CEO. “StriVectin has assembled a truly impressive team, a proven business model, and a premier product portfolio that is beloved by its customers. We are particularly excited that Cori will be assuming a senior executive role at Crown, helping to guide the merged businesses, and we think the combined talents of both teams will enable us to accelerate growth across all our product areas. The addition of StriVectin to Crown’s portfolio enriches our focus on partnering with our customers throughout their lifetime skin health journey.”

“We are excited to build on our success in this next chapter as StriVectin continues to redefine the science of skincare and changes the way people feel about their skin,” added Cori Aleardi, President of StriVectin. “As part of Crown, StriVectin will benefit from additional resources to expand infrastructure, support future growth, and deliver on our commitment to provide next generation skincare to every generation and put the science of skin health first.”

The acquisition strengthens Crown’s overall skincare product portfolio:

  • Crown Aesthetics, maker of SkinPen®, the first FDA-cleared microneedling device.
  • Crown Therapeutics, maker of PanOxyl®, the #1 acne wash; Sarna®, the #1 Dermatologist recommended topical anti-itch brand and National Seal of Acceptance from the NEA; Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen, the #1 Pediatrician recommended mineral-based sunscreen brand.
  • NEW Crown Premium Skincare will include StriVectin, comprised of a broad range of award-winning skincare solutions for all skin types, tones, and ages, including TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus, the #1 selling cream exclusively for the neck and décolleté, and Vita Liberata, a multiple award-winning sunless tanning brand

“On behalf of Hildred, Greenspring and Montreux, I am delighted to bring Crown and StriVectin together to create a world-class, comprehensive premium skincare portfolio and to welcome Cori and her colleagues to our team,” said David Solomon, Hildred Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board for Crown Laboratories. “Both of these companies are generating impressive growth, and the opportunity for complementary growth between the two organizations is tremendous. The StriVectin portfolio complements Crown’s current skincare offering and expands the combined organization’s potential to grow and drive further product development, which is the heartbeat of any organization.”

“When L Catterton invested in StriVectin in 2009, we saw a fantastic opportunity to transform a niche product into an iconic premium skincare brand, changing the game in beauty with a scientific approach to formulation,” said Avik Pramanik, a Partner of L Catterton’s Flagship Buyout Fund. “Working together with the talented management team, we established StriVectin as the largest independent brand in the U.S. prestige skincare market with broad geographic and multi-generational appeal. We are pleased to have played a role in their dramatic growth and are confident that Crown is the right partner for StriVectin as they strive to continue their strong growth and reach their next level of success.”

L Catterton’s support of StriVectin showcases the firm’s expertise as a brand-builder,” said Joan Malloy, Chief Executive Officer of StriVectin. “They were true partners throughout the brand journey, bringing strategic, operational, and industry expertise to foster innovation, growth, and market expansion.”

Launched in 2002, StriVectin is ranked the most effective anti-aging skincare brand by consumers. L Catterton has partnered with management to drive significant growth and value creation through a strategic plan focused on marketing and operational enhancements. Together with L Catterton, StriVectin:

  • Expanded its consumer base to include all age demographics, rapidly attracting millennials, while growing its large and highly loyal Gen X and baby boomer base;
  • Drove continuous innovation, powered by a barrier-breaking scientific approach, resulting in a highly efficacious, expertly calibrated, and 100% clinically tested product portfolio;
  • Transformed its distribution into a truly omni-channel strategy, allowing the brand to be available wherever the prestige consumer shops;
  • Prioritized digital marketing to drive awareness and trial, resulting in a three-year retail sales compound annual growth rate of over 20%; and
  • Drove operational efficiency to significantly enhance margins and drive profitability.

L Catterton has significant experience investing globally in the beauty and personal care category. Current and past investments include Function of Beauty, IL MAKIAGE, TULA, Steiner Leisure, Intercos, Marubi, S.p.A, Elemis, and many others.

Lowenstein Sandler, LLP is acting as legal advisor to Crown Laboratories and Hildred. Hayfin Capital Management, LLP is providing debt financing in connection with the transaction. Moelis & Company LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to StriVectin. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as legal advisor to StriVectin and L Catterton.

About Crown Laboratories

Crown, a privately held, fully integrated global skincare company, is committed to developing and providing a diverse portfolio of aesthetic, premium beauty, and therapeutic skincare products that improve the quality of life for its customers. An innovative company focused on skin science for life, Crown’s unyielding pursuit of delivering therapeutic excellence and enhanced patient outcomes is why it has become a leader in Dermatology and Aesthetics. Crown has been listed on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies List for eight years and has expanded its distribution to over 38 countries. For more information, visit www.crownlaboratories.com.

About StriVectin®

StriVectin, the #1 independent prestige skincare company in the U.S., empowers people to outsmart aging with our disruptive science and targeted solutions for aging and changing skin. Backed by over 35 years of clinical research, our proprietary NIA-114 Technology™ is clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier and supercharge the efficacy of other performance ingredients to visibly transform skin. The results are real, visible and validated with independent clinical studies on every formula – including the groundbreaking SD Advanced™ Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks and the #1 selling cream in the U.S. exclusively for the neck and décolleté, TL Advanced™. Cruelty Free, Paraben Free and Suitable for All Skin Types, StriVectin products are sold through department stores and specialty retailers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company maintains corporate offices in New York, NY. For more information, visit www.strivectin.com.

About Hildred Capital Management

Hildred is a New York-based private equity investment firm that pursues growth equity investments in lower middle market healthcare companies with leading products, technologies and services. Hildred focuses on opportunities to create value from earnings growth, operational improvements and multiple expansion in companies with revenues of $0 to $100 million. Areas with attractive fundamentals where Hildred may invest include the following healthcare subsectors: healthcare services, consumer products, information technology, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals; including the related industries that surround these healthcare subsectors. For more information, visit www.hildredcapital.com.

About L Catterton

With approximately $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 19

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Herkules IV to sell Beckmann, a market leading backpack company, to Shanghai M&G Stationery Inc.

Hercules Capital
Herkules Private Equity Fund IV (“HPEF IV”) has entered into an agreement to sell Beckmann, a market leading backpack company, to Shanghai M&G Stationery Inc. (“M&G”).
M&G is a Chinese publicly listed stationary company. The agreement was signed on August 3rd, 2021 and the transaction is subject to approval from Chinese authorities. After completion of the transaction, the Beckmann family and management will continue as minority shareholders.

Since 1946, Beckmann has made high-quality ergonomic backpacks from its headquarter in Kristiansand, Norway. Beckmann’s products have received several professional awards and have become the chosen favourite for children and parents internationally. Beckmann offers products and services to consumers in over 20 countries and more than 50% of its revenues now come from international markets.

HPEF IV invested in Beckmann in August 2017. During HPEF IV’s ownership, a commercial and scalable organization has been built.

Over the past four years, Beckmann has more than doubled its size and the growth has primarily come from international markets. In Europe, the growth has been driven by a new sales organization in Germany and Denmark and in Asia, the growth is a result of an ambitious cooperation with Beckmann’s distributors in China and Hong Kong, as well as a solid performance of a new distributor in Taiwan. In Norway, Beckmann has entered several new retailers and successfully extended the product portfolio.

The sellers were advised by E.J. McKay, SEB, DLA Piper, and PwC.

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Leading mountain bike brand YT Industries partners with Ardian to support growth strategy

Ardian

03 August 2021 ExpansionGermany, Hausen/Frankfurt am Main

Ardian’s support will enable founders and management team of YT Industries to continue the company’s journey to become a brand that is globally synonymous with peak-performance mountain bikes. The partnership will allow further product development, accelerate internationalization, and support the focus on customer centricity of YT’s pure online business model.

Hausen/Frankfurt am Main, Germany, August 3, 2021 – YT Industries (“YT”), a global high-performance mountain bike (“MTB”) brand, and Ardian, a world leading private investment house, have signed a partnership agreement to drive YT Industries’ growth. Ardian Expansion will invest in YT together with the company founders Markus Flossmann and Jacob Fatih – alongside the management team. The management team, led by former Amazon manager Sam Nicols who joined the company in 2020, and the founder and CVO Markus Flossmann, supported by Jacob Fatih’s business incubator Crealize, will focus on building out the company’s product portfolio, whilst simultaneously bringing YT’s brand and customer experience to the next level.

YT Industries was founded in 2008 in Essen, Germany, by Markus Flossmann and Jacob Fatih with the vision to provide high-quality and affordable dirt jump bikes for professional cyclists and bike enthusiasts. Since its inception, the company has evolved into an international and highly respected premium brand in the performance MTB segment. The abbreviation YT stands for Young Talent and the motto “Live Uncaged”, featured across innovative marketing campaigns, inspires the loyal community behind the brand.

YT currently offers a diverse range of 40 MTBs, designed for various categories of mountain biking (i.e., downhill, enduro, all-mountain, trail, dirt) as well as complementary apparel and accessories. In addition, YT launched its highly successful e-MTB model “DECOY” in 2019, which now accounts for a significant share of sales. The company plans to enhance customer experience and service, integrate data-driven decision making and expand business across Europe and the US, the largest MTB market in the world. With a pure online direct-to-consumer business model, YT is able to offer highest quality performance MTBs with an excellent value for money proposition. YT bikes have led athletes to major competition titles such as World Championships and World Cup wins. Currently several world-class athletes such as elite downhill professionals Dakotah Norton from America and David Trummer from Austria, are using YT bikes in their training and competitive races.

Markus Flossmann, Co-founder and CVO of YT Industries, said: “We at YT are passionate mountain bikers, and we develop our bikes with heart and soul. Thanks to an outstanding team, YT has become one of the world’s most admired brands in the mountain bike space. Together with Ardian as our partner, we are looking forward to taking the company to the next level by expanding our business internationally and coming even closer to our customers. To us it is critical to stay true to our brand and stick to our core values, which made us successful: focus on quality, innovation, and our community. We are excited for the growth that this new partnership heralds and leading the company into the next chapter of its young history.”

Jacob Fatih, Co-founder and shareholder of YT Industries, said: “It has nearly been 15 years since my friend and Co-Founder Markus Flossmann and I built our first mountain bike to our own specifications and the rest is history. Our enthusiasm for sport and entrepreneurship are still what drive us every day – and this attitude has made YT one of the globally leading brands in professional mountain biking. We are fully convinced that with our new partner Ardian we will become even stronger, and our brand will continue to inspire both existing and new customers.”

Sam Nicols, CEO of YT Industries, added: “Markus and the team have done a great job in reinventing the mountain bike experience both in terms of product development and experience. We are already moving full speed ahead with our new strategy of increased customer focus underpinned by data-driven decision making, which will help us become even more successful in offering the best products at the right time with a seamless customer experience. I strongly believe that with Ardian as a partner with a strong international platform, Markus’ product and design expertise, and our new focus on operational excellence and
e-commerce, we will accelerate taking YT to the next level.”

Dirk Wittneben, Head of Ardian Expansion DACH, added: “The combination of one of the most popular performance MTB brands and the underlying structural growth of the international MTB markets provide significant growth potential for YT. The company’s innovative and ambitious founders and management team combine strong passion for the product, a highly successful marketing approach as well as an outstanding online direct-to-consumer distribution model. We are thrilled to be able to support Sam, Markus, and the wider management team to help them achieve their envisaged growth path.”

The transaction remains subject to the authorization by the competition authorities. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

  • Ardian

    • Dirk Wittneben, Max Dolata, Nicolas Münzer, Marlon Sandvoss
    • Legal: Stefan Koch, Tomislav Vrabec, Paul Kohlhaas (White & Case)
    • Commercial / Operational: Andreas Stender, Jos van Iwaarden, Philipp Rupp, Daniel Stengel (Kearney)
    • Digital: Jérôme Petit, Hannes Weissenteiner, Maxime Le Gouvello (Artefact)
    • Financial: Murat Deniz, Dennis Ginzkey, Ergin Asil (8Advisory)
    • Tax/Structuring: Jan Ole Buchert, Manuel Wall, Adrian Mayer (8Advisory)
    • IT: Marc Bernstein; Hans Wamsteker (8Advisory)
    • M&A: Arnold Holle, Aobo Zhang (Carlsquare)
  • YT Industries

    • M&A: Alexander Grünwald, Thomas Eulau, Raymund Bareuther (GCA Altium)
    • Legal: Dr. Jochen Lehmann, Dr. Moritz Kraft, Dr. Felix Aden (Schmidt, von der Osten & Huber)
    • Legal: Gernot Giesecke (Theopark)
    • Tax/Structuring: Dr. Melanie Köstler (Rödl & Partner), Michael Krumwiede (Theopark)
    • Financial: Dennis Tunda, Jörg Schütze, Kim Lachmann (Deloitte)

 

ABOUT ARDIAN

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$114bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.
Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 750 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,200 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
Ardian on Twitter @Ardian

 

ABOUT YT INDUSTRIES

YT Industries was founded by Markus Flossmann in 2008 to give talented riders access to competitive dirt jump bikes. YT stands for Young Talent and reflects its founder’s approach to life: No matter the age, it is never too late to explore your hidden talent or passion and to try something new. It is never too late to LIVE UNCAGED.
To this day, YT focuses on mountain biking and offers a wide range of products from downhill and enduro to trail bikes as a direct-to-consumer brand. YT bikes are distinguished by high quality for an exceptional price. Be it Red Bull Rampage, Downhill World Championships, or World Cups, YT bikes have dominated at world-class events and carried the best athletes to major titles.

PRESS CONTACTS

YT INDUSTRIES

Sebastian Maag

sebastian.maag@yt-industries.com Tel: +49 9191 736305 195

YT INDUSTRIES

Oliver Junggeburth

oliver.junggeburth@yt-industries.com Tel: +49 9191 736305 163

ARDIAN – CHARLES BARKER CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

PETER STEINER

ardian@charlesbarker.de Tel: +49 69 79409027

ARDIAN – CHARLES BARKER CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

TOBIAS EBERLE

ardian@charlesbarker.de Tel: +49 69 79409024

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Cinven becomes a majority shareholder of Restaurant Brands Iberia

Cinven

International private equity firm, Cinven, and Restaurant Brands Iberia (‘RB Iberia’ or ‘the company’), today announce an agreement for Cinven to acquire a majority stake in RB Iberia. RB Iberia’s founders and Burger King Europe GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc., will continue to be minority shareholders of the company, and the incumbent executive management team will continue to lead the growth of the brands. Valued at more than €1bn, the investment represents the largest transaction in the Spanish restaurant industry to date.

RB Iberia is a leading Quick Service Restaurant (‘QSR’) platform in Iberia and the master franchisee for the Burger King brand in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra, and for the Popeyes and Tim Hortons brands in Spain. The company has a large presence across Spain, including in key locations such as Madrid, Valencia, Catalonia, and Andalusia, with a portfolio of more than 500 of its own restaurants, and an additional c. 500 franchised restaurants across the three brands. The business was founded in 1981 and, under the leadership of founder Gregorio Jiménez, has grown significantly in the last five years both organically and through acquisitions, more than tripling the number of owned Burger King restaurants. The company performed resiliently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to acquire and open restaurants, as well as continuing the roll-out of its successful home delivery service, with more than 5,000 delivery staff and c. 14,000 employees in total.

Cinven’s Iberia and Consumer teams identified RB Iberia as an attractive investment opportunity given:

  • Its market-leading position in the region, through its roster of strong brands with high brand awareness and a differentiated value proposition;
  • The propensity for out-of-home consumption in Spain, complemented by favourable long-term market dynamics such as the acceleration of Direct to Consumer (‘D2C’) digital engagement through apps and home delivery;
  • The substantial opportunity in the growing and resilient Spanish QSR market, which is underpenetrated in comparison to similar European markets and offers the potential for further restaurant openings across the Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons brands;
  • Its resilience shown through the COVID-19 pandemic, and potential for a significant return of consumer spend;
  • Its industry-leading ESG credentials, including in key areas such as supply chain traceability and a commitment to renewable energy, with significant opportunity for further ESG improvements;
  • Its proven innovation leadership, adapting to new consumer habits such as its introduction of plant-based meat products; and
  • Its strong and experienced management team, led by the highly regarded founder and CEO, Gregorio Jiménez.

Jorge Quemada, Partner at Cinven, commented:

“RB Iberia has been incredibly successful under the leadership of founder, Gregorio Jiménez, and is regarded as one of Restaurant Brands International’s best performing businesses. The company has a strong strategic position in the attractive and growing QSR market in Iberia and we are excited by the prospect of partnering with this ambitious and experienced team to accelerate growth. This is a compelling primary investment opportunity that leverages Cinven’s one-team approach, encompassing a matrix of sector and local expertise through Cinven’s strong presence in Iberia and Consumer team sector knowledge.”

Maxim Crewe, Partner at Cinven, added:

“RB Iberia is an excellent fit with Cinven’s consumer strategy which is focused on megatrends such as demand for out-of-home consumption and digital D2C engagement through apps and home delivery. The company has a clearly differentiated value proposition and strong brand awareness, both of which are key criteria for success in the QSR market, and Cinven is well-positioned to support the business with its next stage of growth in the sector.”

Gregorio Jiménez, founder and CEO at RB Iberia, added:

“Cinven’s investment represents an important catalyst to the company’s growth plan over the coming years. In addition, it provides a significant financial boost, which will contribute to the development of the ambitious growth plans for our brands in Spain and Portugal and guarantees the continuity of the group’s growth rate to position itself as a leader in the sector in southern Europe. Our goal is to continue to lead an innovative, sustainable restaurant model underpinned by the close vicinity of restaurants to customers, and to continue to generate employment in the communities where our brands are present.”

This transaction follows Cinven’s recent investments in the Consumer sector including Arcaplanet, a leading pet care platform in Italy, and the combination with Maxi Zoo Italia; Partner in Pet Food, a market-leading pet food manufacturer; Planasa, a global operator in the agri-food sector; and the successful IPO of consumer-tech platform Allegro.

The transaction is subject to customary anti-trust and regulatory approvals.

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CapMan Buyout exits Solera Beverage Group to Royal Unibrew

Capman

CapMan Buyout Press Release
2 july 2021 at 08:30 a.m. EET

CapMan Buyout exits Solera Beverage Group to Royal Unibrew

Funds managed by CapMan Buyout have agreed to sell Solera Beverage Group to the listed beverage company Royal Unibrew A/S.

Solera Beverage Group is a leading importer and distributor of wine and other beverages in the Nordic monopolised markets. The group houses over 700 world-renowned brands and sold over 44 million litres of beverages, reaching sales of NOK 1.9 billion in 2020.

Royal Unibrew, the Danish multi-regional beverage company listed on OMX Copenhagen, has today entered into an agreement to acquire the shares in Solera Beverage Group from Funds managed by CapMan Buyout. The acquisition will add Norway and Sweden to Royal Unibrew’s geographical footprint while complementing the already established business in Finland.

“During CapMan’s ownership period we have developed the business both organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions. We have seen strong organic growth, on the back of a stable and non-cyclical industry, through several operational initiatives. For example, Solera has expanded the number of brands represented, developed the Multibev business focusing on low and non-alcoholic beverages, and established several own brands during the years.” tells Johan Pålsson, Co-Managing Partner at CapMan Buyout.

“We believe Royal Unibrew is a good new owner of Solera. The strategic fit is strong between the two companies and the combined platform will accelerate the development of the two companies. I want to thank the entire Solera organisation for great cooperation over many years” Pålsson continues.

“I am pleased to welcome Royal Unibrew as a new owner of Solera Group. The combination forms a strong platform for a multi-beverage business across the Nordics and around the Baltic Sea, and I look forward to further develop and grow the business together. At the same time, I want to thank CapMan for their instrumental support in developing Solera during their holding period into a pan-Nordic player with a strong multi-beverage offering.” says Ole Petter Wie, Group CEO of Solera.

CapMan Buyout IX fund made the investment in Solera Beverage Group in 2011. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Lincoln International acted as financial advisor and Wiersholm as legal advisor to CapMan Buyout in the transaction.

For further information, please contact:

Johan Pålsson, Co-Managing Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +46 705 956 224

About CapMan

CapMan Buyout is part of CapMan Group, a leading Nordic private asset expert with an active approach to value-creation in its portfolio companies and assets, with assets under management of close to €4 billion. CapMan has a broad presence in the unlisted market through our local and specialised teams. The investment strategies cover Private Equity, Real Estate and Infra. CapMan also has a growing service business that includes procurement services, wealth management, and analysis, reporting and back office services. Altogether, CapMan employs around 150 people in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, London and Luxembourg. We are a public company listed on Nasdaq Helsinki since 2001 and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2012. Read more at www.capman.com.

About Royal Unibrew A/S

Royal Unibrew is a leading regional multi-beverage company providing strong brands to our main markets Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, France and the Baltics, and to 65+ countries in the rest of the world. We serve our consumers by offering high quality beverages within beer, malt beverages, soft drinks as well as ciders, ready-to-drink, juice, energy and water products. In addition to our own brands, we offer license-based international brands from PepsiCo and Heineken in Northern Europe.

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CapMan Buyout invests in sports nutrition, supplements, and equipment company MMSports

Capman

CapMan Buyout Press Release
2 July 2021 at 08.00 am (EET)

CapMan Buyout invests in sports nutrition, supplements, and equipment company MMSports

CapMan Buyout’s fund CapMan Buyout XI has entered into an agreement to invest in the leading sports nutrition and equipment company MMSports. CapMan will acquire a majority equity share in the company, with key members of the MMSports organization investing a significant share. CapMan Buyout will partner with the MMSports team to continue to support its accelerated growth and international expansion. The investment is the third of the CapMan Buyout XI fund, which was established in 2019.

MMSports AB was founded in 2002 and is one of the leading sports nutrition and health supplement companies in Sweden. The company’s product offering consists of sports nutrition, health supplements, gym equipment and accessories. MMSports has a strong portfolio of proprietary brands and products developed in-house, as well as a selection of external brands. The company has its own e-commerce platform, mmsports.se, through which most products are sold. MMSports also operates nine physical stores in Sweden. Currently, specialist growth investor Verdane owns the majority stake in the company with the founder being a significant co-investor.

“During the past three years, the company has been able to execute fast growth and improve profitability. Today, the company has operations primarily in Sweden, but sales also to Norway and Denmark. We are excited to join MMSports on its journey to capture further growth in Sweden and accelerate international expansion. We are especially impressed by the strong winning culture in MMSports, which is and will continue to be a key success factor for any company. The strong focus on their proprietary brands and in-house developed products is also something we expect to build further on.”, says Tobias Karte, partner at CapMan Buyout.

“We are looking forward to the next phase of growth and are excited to start collaborating with the CapMan team. We see great potential in the market and believe that with our high-quality products and strong team we will be able to grow sales, also outside of Sweden. CapMan will continue to bring the support needed for our organization to take the next step,” says Erik Sjöberg, CEO of MMSports.

“We want to extend our warmest thanks to Erik and the MMSports team for a productive collaboration and wish the team all the best, as they continue their growth journey together with the CapMan team”, says Christian Jebsen, partner at Verdane.

The CapMan Buyout team comprises of 10 investment professionals working in Helsinki and Stockholm and the funds managed by CapMan Buyout invest in medium-sized, unlisted companies in the Nordic countries. The investment in MMSports is made from the CapMan Buyout XI fund, which was established in 2019 and is the fund’s third investment. The transaction is expected to close within a few weeks.

For more information, please contact:

Tobias Karte, Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +46 73 344 28 96

Erik Sjöberg, CEO, MMSports, tel. +46 73 526 23 27

About CapMan
CapMan Buyout is part of CapMan Group, a leading Nordic private asset expert with an active approach to value-creation in its portfolio companies and assets, with assets under management of close to €4 billion. CapMan has a broad presence in the unlisted market through our local and specialised teams. The investment strategies cover Private Equity, Real Estate and Infra. CapMan also has a growing service business that includes procurement services, wealth management, and analysis, reporting and back office services. Altogether, CapMan employs around 150 people in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, London and Luxembourg. We are a public company listed on Nasdaq Helsinki since 2001 and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2012. Read more at www.capman.com.

About MMSports
MMSports is one of the leading supplement and sports nutrition companies in Sweden. The company was founded in 2002 by Olle Sparringsjö and has been owned by the founder and Verdane since 2014, until CapMan’s acquisition in July 2021. The company boasts a strong portfolio of proprietary brands and in-house developed products as well as a selection of external brands and products. The product offering includes sports nutrition, health supplements, gym wear and accessories & equipment.  Majority of the company’s products are sold through their own e-commerce platform.  In addition, MMSports has a network of 9 physical stores in Sweden. In 2020, MMSports had sales of 230 MSEK from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Visit MMSports at mmsports.se.

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EQT Private Equity to sell Fertin Pharma to Philip Morris International

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  • EQT Private Equity to sell Fertin Pharma, a leading specialist contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) in innovative oral and intra-oral delivery technologies, to Philip Morris International for a headline Enterprise Value of DKK 5.1 billion
  • Fertin Pharma’s products enable people to live healthier lives – supporting millions of customers with reducing and quitting harmful cigarette smoking, and easier-to-consume oral care products, among other platforms
  • Under EQT Private Equity’s ownership, Fertin Pharma has continued and strengthened its transformation from a niche champion to a leader in innovative oral and intra-oral drug delivery technologies, through investments in its manufacturing and development capabilities, product diversification, sustainability efforts and expanded customer base, which includes some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies

EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Mid Market Europe fund (“EQT Private Equity”) has agreed to sell Fertin Pharma (the “Company”), a specialist CDMO in innovative oral and intra-oral delivery technologies, to Philip Morris International Inc. (“PMI”) for an enterprise value of DKK 5.1 billion.

Headquartered in Vejle, Denmark, Fertin Pharma is a leading specialist CDMO in innovative oral and intra-oral delivery technologies to support healthier living. The Company develops and manufactures innovative delivery systems, such as chewing gums, tablets and powders, used for pharmaceutical- and nutraceutical applications. Innovative- and consumer relevant solutions that when consumed enhance the efficacy of active and functional ingredients.

Fertin Pharma’s patented delivery technologies enable people all around the world to live healthier lives, whether it be helping to reduce and ultimately quit cigarette use or gaining access to a broad range of easy-to-consume formats for consumer healthcare applications. In 2020, nearly three billion Nicotine Replacement Therapy (“NRT”) doses were manufactured, supporting more than 3.2 million people with reducing and quitting smoking.

The Company’s heritage dates back to 1915 when the Danish Bagger-Sørensen family founded the Dandy Group, focusing on confectionery production. In 1978, Fertin Pharma was set up within the Group and eventually separated as an independent subsidiary in 2001 to pioneer the use of chewing gum as a medical delivery technology. Today, Fertin Pharma is a global business with fully integrated and automated manufacturing and R&D capabilities through sites in Denmark, Canada and India, and a total employee base of more than 860 people.

EQT Private Equity acquired a 70 percent stake in Fertin Pharma in 2017 from the Bagger-Sørensen family, which has remained invested and actively supportive of the Company’s diversification journey throughout EQT’s ownership period. Since then, Fertin Pharma has transformed from a niche champion to a leader in its application areas. EQT has supported the broadening of the Company’s platform of delivery technologies, from solely focusing on medicated chewing gum to now offering a diverse range of oral care applications, including tablets that liquefy when chewed, fast- or slow-dissolving tablets for controlled release, extruded and compressed gum, and pouches with powder that dissolves under the upper lip. Fertin Pharma has also grown its customer base with several blue-chip industry leaders, including the world’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

Moreover, Fertin Pharma has doubled its productivity through upgrading of business-critical systems, digitizing and automizing of production facilities, and increased investments in R&D and sustainability. Under EQT Private Equity’s ownership, the Company has grown EBITDA by close to 50 percent.

Rikke Kjær Nielsen, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team, “Since EQT entered in 2017, the strategy has been to develop the path for Fertin Pharma’s diversification journey. We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together with the Bagger-Sørensen family, the board and the management team, taking the Company from a niche Nicotine Replacement Therapy champion to an international industry leader with a diversified portfolio of technologies and blue-chip customers in consumer health. I would particularly like to thank the Bagger-Sørensen family for the great cooperation and partnership over the years. We are confident that PMI will be a good long-term home for Fertin Pharma with their ambition to lead the transformation of the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future – an ambition closely aligned with Fertin’s vision of supporting healthier living.”

Claus Bagger-Sørensen, Co-owner and board member of Bagger-Sørensen & Co. said, “On behalf of the Bagger-Sørensen family, it has been a true pleasure to partner with EQT during this phase of Fertin Pharma’s growth journey. We have had a great partnership based on shared ambitions for Fertin Pharma, which we have realised in successful collaboration. I hope and believe the sale will further strengthen the journey towards a smoke-free future and healthier lives.”

Peter Halling, CEO of Fertin Pharma, commented: “Fertin Pharma has been on a fantastic journey with EQT and the Bagger-Sørensen family as owners. With the new ownership in place, Fertin Pharma will be in a great position to continue delivering on our vision and mission, including our work as a CDMO for our customers. PMI is going through an inspiring transformation as a company with an ambition to deliver a smoke-free future and building a beyond nicotine product portfolio. An ambition that perfectly matches that of Fertin Pharma, namely to enable people to live healthier lives. In PMI we have found a new owner and partner who shares our vision, who is committed to science and who will enable Fertin Pharma to further accelerate and grow as a company.”

Jacek Olczak, Chief Executive Officer of PMI added, “The acquisition of Fertin Pharma will be a significant step forward on our journey toward delivering a smoke-free future – enhancing our smoke-free portfolio, notably in modern oral, and accelerating our progress in beyond nicotine. Both PMI and Fertin share a commitment to science and consumer-centric innovations for better living, and I am delighted we have reached this agreement. Fertin’s diverse portfolio of technologies, evolving business mix, and world-class expertise will enrich our innovation pipeline and capabilities, providing speed and scale in oral delivery to support our 2025 goals of generating more than 50% of our net revenues from smoke-free products and at least USD 1 billion from products beyond nicotine.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close later in 2021.

EQT Private Equity was advised by FIH Partners (M&A), Accura (legal), PwC (financial & tax), BCG (commercial), Implement (operations) and COWI (EHS).

Contact
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with more than EUR 67 billion in assets under management across 26 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

About Fertin Pharma
Fertin is a Danish contract development and manufacturing organization specializing in innovative oral dosage formats with nutraceutical and pharmaceutical ingredients. The company provides patients and consumers with convenient, pleasurable and efficient delivery formats, based on substantial know-how, technological capabilities and consumer insight.

More info: www.fertin.com


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