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ARDIAN sells Piz’Wich stake to frostkrone

26. April 2018

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.

About Ardian
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.

About Piz’­Wich
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

Law
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
Struc­ture
Flick Gocke Schaum­burg: Chris­tian Pitzal and Martin Oltmanns
Acqui­si­tion Finance
Shear­man & Ster­ling: Winfried Carli

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