Ardian acquires majority stake in natural therapies provider INULA
Paris — Ardian, one of the world’s leading independent investment firms, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Inula Group with Vendis Capital, Dominique Baudoux (Founder and Chairman) and Sergio Calandri (CEO).
The Inula Group was formed from the merger of Pranarôm and HerbalGem, two pioneers in the field of natural therapies. The two laboratories were established in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Today, Inula is a leading provider of herbal remedies. With the brands Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral, the Group specializes in particular in the high-growth segments of aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and Bach flower remedies. Thanks to the company’s scientific approach and the quality of its products, the group has seen significant growth in recent years. Today it operates in 25 countries and has a leading position in the markets of France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the USA.
As part of this transaction, the Group’s CEO, Sergio Calandri, reinvests alongside Ardian. Vendis Capital and Pranarôm founder Dominique Baudoux may also continue to support the group.
Bruno Ladrière, Managing Director of Ardian Buyout, and Daniel Setton, Director, stated: “We are very much looking forward to working with Inula’s teams and thank them for the trust they have placed in us as part of this transaction. Together we will support the continued growth of the company and expand the market position of Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral in Europe and globally. With this transaction, we underline our strategy to support mid-sized companies in realizing their growth opportunities.”
For their part, Cedric Olbrechts, partner at Vendis Capital, and Dominique Baudoux, founder and chairman of Inula, said: “During the seven-year partnership between Vendis and Inula, we have been able to create a great dynamic for the company, combining our experience and expertise. Today, the group is the leading provider of natural remedies in Europe. It has significantly expanded its international presence, added new distribution channels and developed new products through the Pranarôm brand and the successful integration of HerbalGem, Biofloral and Veriditas. We are proud that we have been able to successfully implement the objectives set in 2011. These successes are primarily due to the competent and experienced management team led by Sergio Calandri. We would like to express our sincere thanks here to everyone for their dedication and excellent work.” Dominique Baudoux added: “It was quickly clear to me that Ardian was the right partner for us and that the team shares our values, which have driven the success of our group since its inception.”
Sergio Calandri, CEO of Inula, added: “In recent years, our Group has developed extremely strongly. We have been able to establish our brands as market leaders in several countries in Europe and worldwide and have successfully integrated our acquisitions. Our future growth is built on the elements that characterize our approach: The quality of our products, a scientific approach, extensive training and mastery of all stages of manufacturing. Ardian, with extensive experience in the healthcare sector and its international network, is the ideal partner to accompany Inula’s growth in the coming years.”
Ardian is one of the world’s leading independent investment firms, managing approximately US$72 billion in assets on behalf of its investors from Europe, South and North America and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees and generates sustainable, attractive returns for its investors. With the objective of achieving positive results for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities promote individuals, companies and economies worldwide. Ardian’s investment philosophy is aligned with the three guiding principles of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship.
The company has a global network of more than 530 employees and 14 offices in Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), South America (Santiago de Chile), North America (New York and San Francisco) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo). Ardian manages the assets of its approximately 750 investors in five investment areas: Direct Funds, Funds of Funds, Infrastructure, Private Debt and Real Estate.
The Inula Group was formed from the merger of Pranarôm and HerbalGem, two pioneers in the field of natural therapies. The two laboratories were established in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Inula develops, produces and distributes phytotherapeutic remedies. Its three brands are market leaders in their respective sectors: Pranarôm in scientific aromatherapy (essential oils), HerbalGem in concentrated gemmotherapy (bud extracts) and Biofloral in Bach flowers (flower extracts). Inula achieved consolidated sales of 85 million euros in 2017. The Group markets its products through six sales companies (based in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and North America) and distributors in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia and North America. The products are distributed by more than 12,000 customers. These include pharmacies, health food stores and health professionals. The group operates its own organic plantations and four manufacturing laboratories in Belgium (Pranarôm in Ghislenghien and HerbalGem in Vielsalm), France (Biofloral in Auvergne) and the USA (Inula in Minneapolis). www.pranarom.com — www.herbalgem.com — www.biofloral.fr
About Vendis Capital
Founded in 2009, Vendis Capital is an independent private equity firm focused on the European consumer goods sector. Working with experienced entrepreneurs and managers, Vendis invests in small to medium-sized branded companies in Europe that are well positioned for value-creating growth or transformation processes. Vendis invests in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. www.vendiscapital.com
Companies and persons involved in the transaction
Sellers: Vendis Capital (Cedric Olbrechts, Mathieu de Medeiros), Dominique Baudoux (Founder and Chairman), Sergio Calandri (CEO)
Acquirer: Ardian (Bruno Ladrière, Daniel Setton, Alexis Manet, Rafik Alili, Edmond Delamalle)
M&A: JP Morgan (Edouard Debost, Peter Hujoel, Sebastien Guiol)
M&A Law: Freshfields (Vincent Macq, Frederic Elens, Elliott Fosseprez)
Lawyer of the management: Laurius (David Ryckaert)
Financial VDD: PwC (Philippe Estas, Geoffroy Jonckheere, Arnaud Chantraine, Olivier Van Crombrugge)
Tax VDD: PwC (Hugues Lamon, Koen Walbers)
Strategic VDD: Roland Berger (Grégoire Tondreau, Patrick Biecheler, Pierre-Antoine Bodin, Jean Muraire, Yaroslav Stetsenko)
Regulatory VDD: Covington (Bart Van Vooren)
Advisor of the acquirer
M&A: BNP Paribas Fortis (Gabriel Englebert, Pieter-Jan Van de Walle, Wide Hellemans, Elena Coluccelli-Guérin, Muriel Petit)
Legal advice: Latham (Olivier du Mottay, Bénédicte Bremond, Lionel Dechmann)
Financial advisory: EY (Yannick Lostie de Kerhor, Stéphane Seguin, Mathieu Creuzet, Nicolas Morel)
Legal, tax, social and ESG advice: EY (Jean-Christophe Sabourin, Patrice Mottier, Tom Swinnen, Lionel Benant, Anne Dupupet, Anne-Elisabeth Combes, Maelle Duquoc).
Insurance consulting: Siaci St Honoré (Pierre de Rochebouet, Julie Marmara, Brigitte Lalo)
Strategic advice: EY-Parthenon (Henri-Pierre Vacher, Vincent Czeszynski, Louis Ravier, Benjamin Ferrand, Fabien Bouskila)
Regulatory consulting: InnoveoCare (Géraldine Veuillet, Elodie Demars)