Equistones GALA Candles buys Ramesh Flowers
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.