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Bain-backed Valeo Foods acquires maple syrup maker Bernard

Les Industries Bernard & Fils, a St-Victor, Quebec-based bottler and processor of maple syrup, has been sold to Valeo Foods.

Les Industries Bernard & Fils, a St-Victor, Quebec-based bottler and processor of maple syrup, has been sold to Valeo Foods. No financial terms were disclosed. Phoenix Partners, which has backed Bernard since 2017, said it earned a 10.7x multiple on the investment. Valeo, a Dublin, Ireland-based branded and private-label food products company, was acquired last year by Bain Capital Private Equity.

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, May 4, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Les Industries Bernard & Fils Ltée (“Bernard”), the world’s leading independent bottler and processor of maple syrup is sold to Valeo Foods Group (“Valeo” or the “Group”) a leading pan European food business.

Valeo, which was acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity in September 2021, is a Dublin-based producer and innovator of high quality, category-defining branded and private-label food products. Valeo’s portfolio of iconic brands includes Jacobs, Rowse, Kettle, Odlums, Barratt, and Balconi, many of which have histories that stretch back as far as 150 years. Rowse has been importing and distributing Bernard maple syrup across the UK for over 12 years under the Buckwud brand.

Valeo will look to leverage the Group’s existing global supply chain and major food retailer relationships to accelerate Bernard’s international growth. The operations and workforce will remain in Quebec and Bernard becomes a first and critical North American platform for Valeo.

Yves Bernard, President of Bernard, said: “Bernard and Phoenix Partners (“Phoenix”) had an excellent relationship since 2017 during which time we doubled our revenue. We thank Phoenix for their assistance in helping us bring Bernard to this level. We are very excited about joining the Valeo group of companies since we already have a cultural fit after many years of working together”.

François Fauteux, Managing Partner at Phoenix, said: “The Bernard team performed exceptionally well in growing and professionalizing the company over the last 5 years. Bernard is clearly the best company in the maple syrup segment, and we thank the Bernard family for having chosen us as their partner five years ago. The Phoenix team is also very proud to report a 10.7x MOIC on the Bernard investment and I would also like to thank my Phoenix colleagues for their involvement in supporting Bernard’s significant growth”.

Fauteux continued, “Bernard is now poised to accelerate its growth overseas and globally. That’s why we firmly believe that Valeo Foods Group is the perfect acquirer for Bernard. We wish them all the best for this exciting next phase of development”.

Commenting on the acquisition, Seamus Kearney, CEO, Valeo Foods, said: “Bernard is a great business, led by a very experienced and passionate team and its acquisition further enhances our growing portfolio of family-favourite food brands. We are delighted that the Bernard family will continue to retain very strong involvement in the running of the business. Valeo Foods Group is on a journey to becoming a leading global food business and we remain focused on growing our operations organically and through further acquisitions.”

TD Securities acted as financial advisor to Bernard and Phoenix on the transaction and the Montréal office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal advisor to the Company.

About Phoenix Partners
Established in 2012, Phoenix Partners is a private equity group focused on acquiring controlling interests in traditional and mid-market businesses. Relying on an experienced and complementary team of professionals with extensive experience in the acquisition and management of private and public businesses, financing and capital markets, Phoenix Partners allows its partner companies to reach new heights.