Wessanen agrees to be acquired by consortium for 885m euros

April 11, 2019

Dutch food company Wessanen has announced its board has accepted a takeover offer valuing the firm at around €885 million.

The Amsterdam-headquartered company – owner of brands such as Kallø, Whole Earth, and Clipper Teas – will be bought by a consortium consisting of private equity firm PAI Partners and Charles Jobson, Wessanen’s largest shareholder.

Following completion of the deal, PAI will hold approximately 62% and Charles Jobson approximately 38% in the consortium.

In a statement, Wessanen said it welcomes the prospect of the longer term stability under the ownership of the consortium, expanding its position in organic foods.

The consortium said it shares Wessanen’s view to upgrade its operations to improve the efficiency across the entire value chain of the business and to add scale in core categories and markets through acquisitions.

The transaction will not have a direct impact on the total workforce and the Wessanen headquarters will remain in Amsterdam.

Christophe Barnouin, CEO of Wessanen, said: “Our vision is to build a European leader in organic and sustainable food. We want to remain at the forefront of making food healthier and more sustainable for the benefit of both consumers and the planet. This requires a long-term commitment from shareholders and long-term investments. It is all the more critical in an era where organic, sustainable and healthy themes have grown increasingly popular, which in turn has resulted in a more competitive landscape.

“PAI and Charles Jobson are fully supportive of our strategy and will bring a longer term horizon and additional investments supporting the execution of our plans. We believe that for our existing shareholders, the offer represents an attractive price. Taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, the boards consider the offer to be in the best interest of Wessanen and we therefore fully support and recommend the offer.”

Gaëlle d’Engremont, partner at PAI Partners, added: “Wessanen is extremely well-positioned in the European health food industry, housing high-quality brands and being at the forefront on innovation in this rapidly growing sector. We intend to accelerate Wessanen’s growth using our experience in the food and consumer space and investing further in the brands and the people of Wessanen to increase the reach of the company.

“We are fully committed to Wessanen’s current strategy and are excited to work alongside their passionate management team and long-time shareholder Charles Jobson. Together we can support the company to further build on its position as a leading sustainable and healthy food company in Europe, fully engaged with its customers on a daily basis.”

By Jules Scully

Source: FoodBev

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