ARDIAN sells Piz’Wich stake to frostkrone
Paris/ Riethberg — Ardian, one of the world’s leading independent investment firms, is selling its minority stake in Piz’Wich, a French manufacturer of frozen snacks for on-the-go consumption, to frostkrone, one of Europe’s leading producers of frozen convenience foods and snacks, based in Rietberg, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Ardian Growth acquired the stake in Piz’Wich in December 2016 with the aim of supporting the company’s organic growth and accelerating its international expansion, in particular by building strategic industry partnerships worldwide. Thanks to a further developed product range and framework agreements with industrial partners, this goal was quickly achieved. Discussions were also held with frostkrone about a distribution partnership in Germany, which ultimately led to the transaction announced today. As a result, Piz’Wich is now 100 percent owned by frostkrone, a company that was a portfolio company of Ardian Expansion in Germany until its acquisition by Emeram Capital Partners in February 2017.
Piz’Wich was founded in 2001 and since then has continued to grow in a dynamically evolving and expanding market. Under the leadership of Stéphane Delahaye, the company quickly shifted its business model to frozen snacks for on-the-go consumption, a fast-growing niche market. For the latter, Piz’Wich developed the “Pizza Pocket”, which proved to be as innovative as it was successful. Piz’Wich places great emphasis on quality and the traceability of the origin of ingredients, responding equally to an increasing demand for these products, the needs of its consumers, as well as the strictest requirements in terms of certification and food inspection.
Stéphane DelahayeCEO of Piz’Wich, said: “The partnership with Ardian has been a very intense and productive period for us. During it we have further developed our product offering and, with the help of Ardian’s extensive network worldwide, found a number of industry partners and defined external growth opportunities. We thank the Ardian Growth team for their support and now look forward to tackling further growth plans thanks to the synergies with frostkrone.”
Frédéric Quéru, Director at Ardian Growth, added: “Piz’Wich has developed very quickly in the 16 months since our investment. Together with Stéphane Delahaye, we have successfully implemented Piz’Wich’s strategy. The company met with great interest from a whole range of potential acquirers. We are convinced that frostkrone, as one of the recognized industry leaders, is the best partner to lead Piz’Wich into the next stage of growth.”
Through its investment arm Ardian Growth, Ardian supports profitable companies with annual revenues between €10 million and €100 million in implementing their growth plans. The recent €230 million fundraising for Ardian Growth Fund II underscores the success of the Ardian Growth team.
Ardian is one of the world’s leading independent investment companies, managing approximately US$67 billion in assets on behalf of its investors from Europe, 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 490 employees and 13 offices in Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), North America (New York and San Francisco) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo). Ardian manages the assets of its approximately 700 investors in five investment areas: Direct Funds, Funds of Funds, Infrastructure, Private Debt and Real Estate.
Piz’Wich was founded in 2001 and acquired by the current CEO of the company in 2011. The company manufactures white-label frozen snack products for supermarkets, airline caterers and fast food companies. Piz’Wich has a strong network of distribution partnerships worldwide. Last year, Piz’Wich reported sales revenue of around 14 million euros. — The company is based in Bulgnéville, France, near Nancy, and is headed by Stéphane Delahaye.
About frost crown
frostkrone and its subsidiary Bornholter specialize in the production and distribution of frozen finger food and snack products. Since its founding in 1997, the company has established itself as an innovative first mover in the convenience frozen food sector. frostkrone is characterized by a wide range of products based on cheese, fish, vegetables and meat and sells its products in the food retail and food service sectors.
Parties involved in the transaction
Piz’Wich: Stéphane Delahaye
Ardian: Frédéric Quéru, Alexis Saada
Legal counsel: McDermott, Will & Emery (Diana Hund, Louis Leroy)
Tax advice: Arsene Taxand (Franck Chaminade, Charles Dalarun)
M&A Advisor: Invest Corporate Finance (Marc O’Neill, Maxime Bazin)
frost crown: Frédéric Dervieux
Emeram Capital Partners: Matthias Obermeyr, Kaili Shen
GLNS: Ludger Schult and Andreas Scheidle
Aramis: Raphaël Mellerio and Aliénor Harel
Finance, taxes and structure
PWC financial: Richard Siedek, Philippe Chavane and Olivier Lorang
PWC tax: Fabien Radisic
Flick Gocke Schaumburg: Christian Pitzal and Martin Oltmanns
Shearman & Sterling: Winfried Carli