First exit for EMZ Germany: Ankerkraut goes to Nestlé

Photo: Spice jars from Ankerkraut
14. April 2022

Munich/Hamburg — EMZ Part­ners (“EMZ”), a leading Euro­pean invest­ment firm, have sold their stake in Hamburg-based spice manu­fac­tu­rer Anker­kraut to Swiss food group Nestlé. The foun­ders and the manage­ment team remain signi­fi­cantly invol­ved. The sale marks the first exit of EMZ’s Germany office and brings inves­tors a MoM (“multi­ple of money”) of well over 2.0 in less than two years. The tran­sac­tion is still subject to appro­val by the anti­trust autho­ri­ties. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose further details of the transaction.

Foun­ded in 2013, the inno­va­tive spice blends quickly made Anker­kraut a “Love Brand” and the number 1 chal­len­ger on the DACH spice market. Anker­kraut places great empha­sis on sustaina­bi­lity, which is evident in both the products and the pack­a­ging. The spice blends do not contain arti­fi­cial addi­ti­ves. The company also has a growing orga­nic range. Glass vials with lids made of cork instead of plastic also ensure complete recy­c­la­bi­lity. Origi­nally a digi­­tal-first company, Anker­kraut has evol­ved into an omnich­an­nel expert, genera­ting about half of its sales online and half in brick-and-mortar retail.

EMZ inves­ted in Anker­kraut in Septem­ber 2020 along with the foun­der and manage­ment team. During the 20-month invest­ment period, the company quickly deve­lo­ped into one of the leading spice brands in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“Anker­kraut was an excel­lent invest­ment for EMZ and reflects the core of our stra­tegy to invest toge­ther with dedi­ca­ted foun­ders and manage­ment teams,” says Klaus Maurer, Part­ner at EMZ. “We are plea­sed that our joint efforts to deve­lop Anker­kraut into a leading consu­mer brand have been success­ful and thank the entire team for their great work,” added Guntram Kieferle, Direc­tor at EMZ.

The part­ners­hip with Nestlé aims to combine Ankerkraut’s direct-to-consu­­mer and omnich­an­nel exper­tise with the exten­sive resour­ces and inter­na­tio­nal distri­bu­tion network of the Nestlé universe.

“Our part­ners­hip with EMZ has taken Anker­kraut from one mile­stone to the next and we thank the team for their support. We are very proud to have Nestlé on board as a stra­te­gic part­ner and are exci­ted about our common goal to take Anker­kraut to the next level,” says Stefan Lemcke, who foun­ded Anker­kraut toge­ther with his wife Anne.

“I am very plea­sed to welcome the Anker­kraut team to our Nestlé family. We are both convin­ced that we can learn a lot from each other and bring toge­ther the best of two worlds! For example, how brands are built, trends are picked up and inno­va­tions are crea­ted, or how a port­fo­lio can grow success­fully,” comments Marc Boersch, CEO of Nestlé Deutsch­land AG.

Advi­sors EMZ: Houli­han Lokey, Latham & Watkins, Deloitte, Munich Stra­tegy Group

About EMZ

EMZ is a leading Euro­pean invest­ment company that acts as a part­ner for medium-sized compa­nies. The focus of acti­vi­ties is on invest­ments along­side foun­ders, family share­hol­ders and manage­ment teams from the Paris and Munich offices. EMZ is an inde­pen­dent invest­ment fund, majo­rity owned by its employees, with a base of Euro­pean insti­tu­tio­nal inves­tors. The current EMZ 9 fund has a volume of more than EUR 1.0 billion, with invest­ment tickets ranging from EUR 25 to 150 million per transaction.


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