Permira to sell Iglo Group to Nomad for 2.6 bln euros

Permira has agreed to sell Iglo Foods Holdings Limited to Nomad Holdings Limited for 2.6 billion euros. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Centerview Partners was exclusive financial advisor to Permira while Barclays and UBS Investment Bank were financial advisors to Nomad. Europe-based Iglo Group is a provider of frozen food.

PRESS RELEASE

20 April 2015 – Permira announces today that a company backed by Permira Europe III has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Iglo Foods Holdings Limited (“Iglo Group”, or the “Group”), Europe’s largest frozen food business, to Nomad Holdings Limited (“Nomad”) for €2.6 billion. Nomad is a publicly-listed acquisition company and, as part of the transaction, the Permira Funds will retain a 9% stake in Nomad Foods Limited upon closing. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2015.

Under the Permira Funds’ ownership, Iglo Group has established itself as Europe’s largest frozen food business with iconic brands including Birds Eye in the UK and Ireland, Iglo in Germany and other continental European markets, and Findus in Italy. This was achieved by investing heavily into product innovation, improving its brand marketing and taking advantage of consolidation opportunities in the European frozen food market. In October 2010, the Permira Funds provided additional investment to enable the acquisition of Findus Italy adding significant scale to the Group. As a result, Iglo Group has achieved leadership in seven out of the 12 countries in which it operates, including the UK, Germany and Italy, which account for c. 85% of sales. The company is also in a strong financial position today having recently reported revenues of €1.5 billion and EBITDA of €306 million for FY2014.

Cheryl Potter, head of Permira’s global consumer team, said:
“We are very proud to have helped Iglo Group over the past 8 years to become the undisputed European market leader in branded frozen foods. With the backing of the Permira Funds, the company has been able to invest heavily in product innovation and brand marketing as well as to achieve pan-European scale with the acquisition of Findus Italy in 2010.

“Iglo Group is a great example of how we partner with leading consumer brands and support them, including during tougher economic times, to foster innovation and build a platform for sustainable growth.”

“Iglo Group today is the most trusted brand in European frozen food and the fact that it will be the foundational investment in Nomad’s portfolio of market-leading, niche consumer foods companies speaks volumes to the strength of the company, its powerful brands and exciting growth prospects.

We are pleased that the Permira funds will remain invested alongside Nomad as the company embarks on the next phase of its journey.”

It has also been announced today that Iglo’s Group’s CEO, Elio Leoni Sceti, is to leave at the end of June to take up another CEO position in July but will continue as a Non-Executive Director on Nomad’s Board. Elio joined the company in May 2013 and has led a significant transformation, focusing the Group’s strategy on creating meaningful innovation for every day, every meal and everybody and developing insightful connections with consumers. Under his leadership, in addition to the Group’s commitment to responsible sourcing, Iglo Group has also continued to focus on sustainability. Through its Forever Food Together initiative launched in 2014, Iglo Group has been working to educate consumers on the unique advantages of freezing and frozen food, and how it helps to tackle the food waste issue, both in the supply chain and in the home, helping consumers to reduce food waste.

Elio Leoni Sceti, Iglo Group’s Chief Executive Officer, added:
“The partnership between Iglo Group and the Permira funds has achieved great success. Together we have created a new vision and strategy which has delivered growth in 8 out of 12 markets, driven by meaningful innovation which is revitalising consumer interest in frozen food.

“For my part, the last two years at Iglo Group have been hugely fulfilling and I am leaving at a time when I feel that the strategic transformation of the business is largely complete. Innovation inspired by consumers has been at the heart of our strategy and I am particularly proud of the innovation platforms we have created. I am pleased that Iglo Group, in the hands of an excellent management team, is well-placed to deliver on the ambitions that the Group has set itself.”

The Iglo and Birds Eye brands were acquired from Unilever in August 2006 to form the Iglo Group and transform a declining unit of a conglomerate into Europe’s largest frozen food platform with reinvigorated and sustainable top-line growth.

The successful partnership with Iglo Group highlights Permira’s expertise in helping iconic consumer brands around the world to grow and realise their international ambitions. The Permira Funds have a long track record of successfully investing in consumer brands around the world including Dr. Martens, Atrium, Hugo Boss, Valentino, Galaxy Entertainment, Akindo Sushiro and New Look. Since 1997, the Funds have invested €6.7bn in 24 consumer companies and achieved attractive returns for investors.

Centerview Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to the Permira funds and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Clifford Chance acted as legal advisers. Barclays and UBS Investment Bank acted as financial advisers and Greenberg Traurig acted as legal adviser to Nomad on the transaction.