Pamplona to buy Signature Foods

Pamplona Capital has agreed to acquire Signature Foods, a chilled convenience company, from IK Investment Partners.

Pamplona Capital has agreed to acquire Signature Foods, a chilled convenience company, from IK Investment Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

PRESS RELEASE

London/New York – Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) and Signature Foods management have agreed to acquire the company from funds managed by IK Investment Partners. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Signature Foods is a leading chilled convenience food company active in the growing European market, offering a unique combination of A-brands and a private label offering in the categories of spreads and dips, bites and tapas, and meal solutions. It owns a number of leading consumer brands, including Johma and Délio.

The company has a very strong presence in Benelux, particularly in the spreads category, and a rapidly growing European footprint, having recently expanded into France, Germany and Poland. It has long-established and trusted relationships with its customer base, which spans retailers (from premium to discounters) and the foodservice channel.

Signature Foods has a proven M&A platform, having carried out seven acquisitions in the last ten years, including successful companies such as Heks’nkaas, Kitchen on a Mission, and Topking. This strategy has contributed to the company’s growth across several categories and new geographies, and there is a robust opportunity for further pan-European growth across both existing and adjacent categories.

The company is led by CEO Erik Bras, supported by a highly experienced and committed management team. It is headquartered in Hilversum in the Netherlands, employing over 600 people full-time, and generated revenues in excess of 300 million euros in the last financial year.

Martin Schwab, Co-Managing Partner at Pamplona, commented: “We’re delighted to be acquiring Signature Foods, which combines category-leading brands, deep product expertise and longstanding, trusted customer relationships. This transaction is a unique opportunity to access the growing chilled convenience market via a leading player in Benelux, which has delivered consistent above-market growth in the Netherlands and Belgium and has an expanding pan-European presence. We look forward to working with Erik and his highly experienced and motivated team to deliver further growth and value in the years ahead.”

Olaf Tensen, Pamplona’s Country Partner for Benelux, added: “This acquisition reinforces Pamplona’s commitment to Benelux, where we continue to see a wealth of opportunity following our acquisition of Loparex last year. Signature Foods is a welcome addition to our portfolio in the region: the company is well positioned to benefit from consumer trends, in addition to having a proven M&A strategy, and we look forward to actively supporting the business to accelerate future growth.”

Signature Foods CEO Erik Bras commented: “During this transaction process, we got to know the Pamplona Capital team as very diligent, decisive and top-line growth oriented. At Signature Foods, we believe the organic revenue growth performance is the best way to judge if our consumers are happy with our products. The Pamplona Capital team will actively support us in our plans to broaden Signature’s footprint in Europe. Their European team is very international and includes a Dutch partner, with whom we have worked before, so we are convinced they are the right partner for the next growth stage of our company.”

Pamplona’s investment will be made from its fifth private equity fund, Pamplona Capital Partners V, L.P., a $3.2 billion investment vehicle raised in 2017.

About Pamplona Capital Management:

Pamplona Capital Management is a specialist investment manager established in 2005 that provides an alternative investment platform across private equity and other diversified strategies. With offices in New York, London, Madrid, and Malta, Pamplona has over $7 billion in assets under management.  Pamplona invests long-term capital across the capital structure of its portfolio companies in both public and private market situations.