Highlander Partners buys 60% of QFG

Highlander Partners said Thursday it acquired 60 percent of QFG. Financial terms weren’t announced. QFG’s founders have retained 40 percent. Warsaw-based QFG produces meat products in the convenience food segment.


Warsaw, January 7, 2016 — Highlander Partners, a US, $1 billion,
middle-market private equity firm investing in North America and Central
Europe, has acquired 60% of QFG, a leading Polish convenience food
producer. Highlander Partners has become the owner of a majority stake,
as part of a buyout and capital increase. QFG will invest in increasing
its production capacity.

Following Highlander Partners’ acquisition, the founders of QFG have
retained ownership of a 40% stake. The capital increase will be invested
in the company’s production ability, including the development of QFG’s
third plant in central Poland, and an additional investment in
innovative technologies for the production process.

“We are amazed by QFG’s expansion up to date. It stems from the
company’s unique openness to customer needs. We applaud the innovative
approach to business of the founders, who follow best practice and the
latest technologies in the global food market, and constantly introduce
changes in the company. We have just become partners with a
well-developed and competitive company, which requires capital and an
experienced partner to grow further”, says Maciej Rybicki, Operating
Partner at Highlander Partners leading the investment.

QFG produces high-quality meat products in the convenience food segment.
These include poultry, beef, pork and mutton based ready to eat and
pre-cooked foodstuffs. QFG customers are retail resellers, the HoReCa
segment and retail customers in Poland (20% of sales), as well as other
European countries (80% of sales). Thanks to the unique offer and the
quality of the food, the demand for QFG products continues to grow, and
this is reflected in the dynamic growth of the company. Revenues last
year amounted to PLN 117 million ($29 million / €27 million) and,
according to forecasts, will increase to nearly PLN 200 million ($50
million / €47 million) this year.

“Customers in Europe, Poland included, expect us to produce more. The
recent investment from Highlander Partners will help QFG to
significantly increase our production capacity and satisfy this demand.
With the transaction closed today, apart from the new capital needed at
this stage, we have gained a trusted partner, with whom we will build a
value adding strategy for the business we founded. The convenience food
market in Poland and the European Union has been growing at a
single-digit pace. Our realistic medium term goal is the double-digit
increase of our company”, says Jaroslaw Krzyzanowski, the founder and
president of QFG.

More about QFG
QFG has operated in the meat processing industry since 2000. The company
specializes in supplying products to the convenience food sector. It
operates according to the latest technologies and the highest quality
standards, having obtained the two essential certificates of the global
food industry: BRC (grade A+) and IFS. QFG produces ready to eat and
pre-cooked food, based on poultry, beef, pork and lamb meat, which is
chilled or frozen. It has production facilities in Pionki and
Białobrzegi, near Radom, in central Poland — both are among the most
innovative in the European Union. Thanks to this new investment, which
in part will cover the enlargement of the Pionki plant, QFG’s production
capacity will double.

About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, with offices in Dallas, Texas, USA and Warsaw,
Poland, is a private equity firm specializing in long-term direct
investments in midsize private businesses from the manufacturing and
service sectors. It was founded more than a decade ago, on equity
contributed by its American founders, and currently manages assets of
more than $1 billion, with over $900 million committed to direct equity
or mezzanine investments in North America and Central Europe.
The European office of Highlander Partners was opened seven years ago to
capitalize on the vibrant growth of entrepreneurship in the CEE region.
The local team has many years of experience in value creation for
fast-growing and innovative companies. Currently, Highlander Partners’
equity investments in Central Europe are: QFG (food processing),
Akomex/Druk-Pak (packaging product manufacturing) and ProService
(services for the financial sector). Two other investments (MEDI-system
and ZREW Transformatory) have been successfully exited. Highlander
Partners differs from a typical private equity firm by managing its own
capital with no limited partners.

Transaction advisors
Gessel acted as legal advisor to Highlander Partners in this
transaction, Aglegal advised QFG on legal matters. Poland Corporate
Finance was QFG’s transaction advisor.