Ardian acquires majority stake in natural therapies provider INULA

Cate­gory: Private Equity
11. Octo­ber 2018

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.”

About Ardian
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.

About Inula
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). — —

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.

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)

Vendor consul­tant
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)

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