CapVest To Merge Origin Foods With Batchelors To Form Valeo Foods; To Hold 55% Stake


CapVest, a European mid-market private equity firm, agreed to create Valeo Foods. The newly formed Ireland-based food company will combine the businesses of Origin Foods with that of Batchelors. Upon closing, CapVest will hold a 55 percent equity stake in Valeo Foods. Origin Foods will own the remaining interest.

PRESS RELEASE

CapVest, the London based European mid-market private equity firm, announces that it has reached conditional agreement to establish Valeo Foods (“Valeo”), a new Irish-based food company that will combine the businesses of Origin Foods, the food division of the ESM and AIM listed, Origin Enterprises plc (“Origin”), together with the business of Batchelors, the leading privately-owned Irish ambient food company (“the Transaction”).

On completion, CapVest will hold 55% of the equity of Valeo, with the balance held by Origin. Completion is subject to Irish Competition Authority approval.

Valeo will bring together a diversified and powerful portfolio of some of Ireland’s leading consumer food brands including Odlums, Shamrock and Roma from Origin, and Batchelors, Erin, Sqeez and Lustre from Batchelors.

The new business will be led by a team of highly experienced executives drawn from both Origin Foods and Batchelors and will headed by Peadar Kearney, Chief Executive Officer, and Aidan O’Byrne, Chief Financial Officer.

CapVest’s investment in Valeo will be held through CapVest Equity Partners II (“the Fund”), which also holds investments in the Mater Private, Ireland’s leading private hospital, United Coffee, one of Europe’s leading coffee companies with operations across the continent and Findus Group, one of Europe’s largest branded food companies.

Investors in the Fund include a range of international institutional and professional investors including clients of NCB Wealth Management.

CapVest is a long-term investor and has a strong track record of transforming the size and scale of its businesses by investment in both organic and consolidation led growth. In 2002 CapVest invested in Young’s Bluecrest (NKA Findus Group) and successfully grew earnings six-fold under its ownership. Over that time employee numbers grew from under 3,000 to more than 6,000 people.

Commenting on the establishment of Valeo, Seamus FitzPatrick, co-founder of CapVest said:

“We have always liked the food sector as we believe it is fundamentally non discretionary in terms of demand, while simultaneously offering real potential for consolidation and growth. The opportunity to create Valeo Foods and bring together a portfolio of some of Ireland’s most iconic and instantly recognisable consumer brands is the realisation of the first stage in a clear strategy to grow Valeo’s footprint in the food sector.

We look forward to working closely with the new management team at Valeo along with Origin, our co-investors, as together we look to build a market leading food business.”

Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, Facility Agent and Security Trustee; with AIB Corporate Banking, HSBC Corporate Banking Ireland, Rabobank Ireland plc and Ulster Bank Corporate Banking acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers in providing financing for the Transaction.

Arthur Cox and NCB Corporate Finance advised the shareholders of Valeo Foods.

About CapVest Limited

CapVest is a leading European mid-market private equity firm, headquartered in London, which has investments spread across mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland. The Firm’s strategy is focussed on identifying and managing investments in companies and sectors where revenues are underpinned by non-discretionary demand. CapVest has a long history of successful investment in the food sector and the companies it has partnered with have included FoodVest (now known as the Findus Group), Europe’s largest frozen food manufacturer and Vaasan & Vaasan, the largest bakery company in Finland and the Baltic region.

CapVest’s current portfolio includes Findus Group, United Coffee, one of Europe’s largest coffee companies and The Mater Private which is recognised as one of Europe’s leading private hospitals and has been making world class medical facilities and world leading health professionals available to Irish patients for many years.

About Origin Enterprises plc

Origin Enterprises plc is a leading Agri-Nutrition and Food company listed on the ESM and AIM markets of the Irish and London Stock Exchanges. The Agri-Nutrition division, through its manufacturing and distribution operations in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Poland and Norway has leading market positions in the supply of feed ingredients, integrated agronomy services, crop nutrition and marine proteins and oils. The Group’s Food division, comprising sales, marketing, distribution and manufacturing activities in Ireland, has leadership positions in ambient food across the retail, food service and manufacturing sectors.

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