Equistones GALA Candles buys Ramesh Flowers

6. March 2018

Munich, Wörnitz, Tuticorin/India — GALA Kerzen is set for expan­sion with the acqui­si­tion of a majo­rity stake in Ramesh Flowers, an Indian manu­fac­tu­rer and exporter of potpourri, air fres­he­ners, Inscense Sticks, cand­les and deco­ra­tive items. It is the first acqui­si­tion for the Bava­rian candle manu­fac­tu­rer since Equis­tone Part­ners advi­sed funds ente­red the market in 2016. With Ramesh Flowers, GALA Kerzen expands its range to include high-quality fragrance and deco­ra­tion products and opens up to non-Euro­­pean markets. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose details of the tran­sac­tion. The acqui­si­tion is subject to appr­oval by the rele­vant anti­trust authorities.

With the acqui­si­tion of the Indian produ­cer, Equis­tone is stra­te­gi­cally expan­ding its port­fo­lio company GALA Cand­les. Ramesh Flowers’ assort­ment includes scen­ted potpour­ris, dried flowers, and scen­ted oils and cand­les. The company was foun­ded in 1982 in Tuti­co­rin (India) by Mahen­dra Raj Singhwi, who still heads the company today. Ramesh Flowers employs a total of almost 3,000 people in its produc­tion faci­li­ties in India and in Teme­cula (California/USA), which are BSCI‑, SMEPA- and SEDEX-certi­­fied, among others. The company supplies inter­na­tio­nal retail chains in its target markets in Europe and the USA via its long-stan­­ding whole­sale part­ners. The Ameri­can market alone accounts for over 43% of Ramesh Flowers’ export share. This opens up oppor­tu­ni­ties for GALA Kerzen in neigh­bor­ing segments as well as in new target markets.

“Equis­tone has alre­ady opti­mally supported GALA Kerzen in the context of the succes­sion plan­ning two years ago. Since then, we have focu­sed prima­rily on gene­ra­ting new growth momen­tum. We have mana­ged this well in a conso­li­da­ting market. Now it’s a ques­tion of conti­nuing to grow globally as a Euro­pean candle manu­fac­tu­rer. The start­ing posi­tion is not bad: nine out of ten cand­les sold in the EU come from Euro­pean produc­tion. It is ther­e­fore all the more important not to rest on such a posi­tion, but to think ahead. With Equis­tone as a part­ner, we can realize stra­te­gic oppor­tu­ni­ties and growth chan­ces — like curr­ently with the acqui­si­tion of a majo­rity of Ramesh Flowers,” says Dirk Lang­ham­mer, Mana­ging Direc­tor of the GALA Kerzen Group.

“The merger between GALA Cand­les and Ramesh Flowers brings nume­rous growth oppor­tu­ni­ties,” explains Dirk Sche­kerka, Coun­try Head DACH at Equis­tone. “GALA Kerzen is expan­ding its range into the neigh­bor­ing segment of room fragran­ces and deco­ra­ti­ons, and can now offer this to its exis­ting target custo­mers via its estab­lished trade part­ners. In addi­tion to the DACH region, another poten­tial target market for Ramesh Flowers’ products is, for exam­ple, Great Britain, where the candle manu­fac­tu­rer has its own sales office. Thanks to Ramesh Flowers’ inter­na­tio­nal presence in the USA, GALA Kerzen can addi­tio­nally gain a foot­hold in non-Euro­­pean markets. And finally, the newly added produc­tion faci­li­ties will be able to absorb bott­len­ecks in the future or produce previously unpro­fi­ta­ble orders in small batches.”

About GALA Candles
The GALA Cand­les group of compa­nies is one of the largest candle manu­fac­tu­r­ers with two produc­tion sites in Germany and Hungary. For more than 40 years, cand­les have been produ­ced on state-of-the-art produc­tion lines with the highest level of quality and marke­ted prima­rily through estab­lished retail part­ners. With over 460 employees, the GALA Kerzen Group proces­ses appro­xi­m­ately 30,000 tons of kero­sene per year.

About Equis­tone Part­ners Europe
Equis­tone Part­ners Europe is one of Europe’s leading equity inves­tors with a team of more than 35 invest­ment specia­lists in six offices in Germany, Switz­er­land, France and the UK. Equis­tone prima­rily invests in estab­lished medium-sized compa­nies with a good market posi­tion, above-average growth poten­tial and an enter­prise value of between EUR 50 and 500 million. Since its foun­ding, equity has been inves­ted in more than 140 tran­sac­tions, mainly mid-market buy-outs. The port­fo­lio curr­ently compri­ses over 40 compa­nies across Europe, inclu­ding around 20 active holdings in Germany, Switz­er­land and the Netherlands.

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