Ardian-backed Cérélia has acquired South Carolina-based US Waffle, a producer of pancakes and waffles. Also, Continental Grain Company has invested in Cérélia. No financial terms were disclosed. Cérélia is a maker of dough solutions for pie and pizza, as well as ready-to-heat pancakes, crepes, cookies and cookie dough.
Paris and New York, March 30, 2021. Cérélia is delighted to announce that it has both acquired US Waffle and received a strategic equity investment from Continental Grain Company (“CGC”).
US Waffle Acquisition
US Waffle specializes in the production of premium pancakes and waffles, using only the finest and freshest ingredients. Founded in 2013, the dynamic company has quickly scaled to support some of North America’s largest brands with on-trend products. Located in South Carolina, US Waffle has remarkable production and distribution capabilities, which can accommodate Cérélia’s ambitious growth plans and meet the high expectations of its customers. Innovation, a key asset of US Waffle, facilitated the development of a high-quality product range that offers both nutrition and quality.
Alongside of US Waffle, Cérélia recently acquired Wewalka’s North American pizza dough business and constructed a new state-of-the-art facility in Ohio to accommodate the rapid growth of its existing products. These acquisitions combined with the new production and distribution capabilities position Cérélia as one of North America’s fastest growing bakery businesses.
Walter Kluit, Co-CEO of Cérélia stated: “We are thrilled to welcome US Waffle to Cérélia. With a proven track record of innovation and quality, we are confident that US Waffle will accelerate our expansion in North America. By leveraging Cérélia’s entrepreneurial spirit, industrial technology, and experienced team, we plan to introduce new, innovative products and extend our presence in new channels and territories. Following years of dialogue, we are confident that our new partnership with the US Waffle team will enhance the service for our clients and win the hearts of many more consumers with our quality pancakes and waffles.”
“Cérélia continues to expand rapidly in North America through the addition of US Waffle, the acquisition of the Wewalka pizza business, and its new Ohio facility. US Waffle provides an entry point into the attractive breakfast category, where we will leverage Cérélia’s European expertise and technologies in pancake and waffle production. The US Waffle transaction both solidifies our strategic roadmap and underscores the strength of our partnership with the Cérélia team,” said Christopher Sand, Managing Director at Ardian Buyout.
Continental Grain Company Investment:
Earlier this month, CGC made a strategic equity investment in Ardian-backed Cérélia. The investment comes after nearly two years of dialogue and reflects CGC and Cérélia’s shared ambitions in the bakery category. CGC and Cérélia plan to work together on a number of initiatives to both strengthen the existing operations and accelerate growth.
Guillaume Réveilhac, Co-CEO and President of Cérélia stated: “We couldn’t be happier to bring CGC into Cérélia as an equity investor. Through our years of dialogue, we have developed a mutual respect for each other’s unique capabilities and believe that the partnership will strengthen Cérélia’s existing business and provide us with new opportunities to extend our reach into new products and geographies. We believe that we have a shared vision of Cérélia’s role in developing the future of bakery.”
“We recognize CGC as one of the food industry’s premier investors and believe that their investment in Cérélia confirms the strength of our business and the attractiveness of our expansion plans. Over the last few years, Ardian and CGC have worked together on numerous projects, and we highly respect the unique capabilities and perspective that they will bring to our investment in Cérélia. Our collective efforts should augment Cérélia’s growth and position the Company as one of the leaders in the bakery industry,” said Thibault Basquin, Head of Americas Investments at Ardian Buyout.
“We are very excited to join Guillaume, Walter, Ardian and, most importantly, the whole Cérélia team as strategic investors and partners in the Company. We have been very impressed watching the team, with Ardian’s assistance, grow the business over the last two years in both Europe and North America. We believe that Cérélia has developed an excellent platform on which to continue its remarkable growth and we look forward to supporting the Company in executing its strategic vision,” said Paul Fribourg, Chairman & CEO at CGC. As part of the investment, Charles Fribourg, Director of CGC, will join the Cérélia Supervisory Board as an observer.
Cérélia is a leading manufacturer of fresh, ready-to-bake dough solutions for pie and pizza, as well as ready-to-heat pancakes, crepes, cookies and cookie dough. Thanks to (i) sustained organic growth over many years, driven by a relentless focus on product quality, service levels, and new product innovation (such as the introduction of organic, gluten-free and wholesome products) and (ii) an ambitious, yet thoughtful M&A strategy, Cérélia has become the leader in the European market. In 2015, the Company broadened its strategy through the acquisition of de Bioderij, which extended its product portfolio into pancakes and crepes and launched the Company into the North American and Asian markets. Through the acquisition of Bakeaway in 2016 and English Bay Batter in 2017, Cérélia expanded its presence in the United Kingdom and North America while further diversifying its product portfolio. The Company has meaningful market shares in the private label segment, manufacturing for some of the largest brands in the world alongside its own family of brands, which regularly introduce innovative new products.
Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$110bn managed or advised in Europe, North America, Asia, and South America. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 700 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
ABOUT CONTINENTAL GRAIN COMPANY
CGC is a privately‐owned global investor, owner and operator of companies with more than 200 years of history across the food and agribusiness spectrum. The firm creates long‐term value by applying deep industry knowledge, capital and talent to businesses ranging from established market leaders to promising innovators. CGC focuses on building platforms that leverage its strategic expertise in food production, processing, and distribution to source proprietary deals, working alongside trusted partners and supporting strong management teams. CGC brings a long‐term ownership mindset, concentrating on investment and operating plans that create enduring value and a sustainable, efficient and nutritional food supply chain. CGC brings together people, ideas and resources to build the businesses that will feed the world.