The company is also backed by private equity firm Motion Equity Partners, and the firm supported Diana in its $63.5m fundraise from two mezzanine lenders, JP Morgan Securities and MezzVest.
This is Diana’s fourth transaction since June and reflects the company’s growth strategy. AXA Private Equity has also set up a €50m payment-in-kind tranche to help finance this and other planned future acquisitions.
The acquisition of the assets from Givaudan follows Diana’s recent purchase of US food manufacturer Pacific Pure Aid and also French mushroom extract specialist Arômes de Chacé. Diana h, as also recently created Ecuaprotein, a new AquaSea site in Ecuador, which specialises in the production of marine extracts for use in food.
AXA Private Equity originally acquired Diana, which also produces ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry, in 2007. The firm has continued to support Diana’s management through the company’s consolidation in product areas and geographies, including Asia, the US and Eastern Europe. Diana now generates 50 per cent of its turnover outside Europe and aims to increase this figure to 60 to 70 per cent in the near future, to take advantage of opportunities in emerging markets. Diana’s core strengths are its ability to innovate, its broad product range and its strong international presence.
Bruno Ladrière, managing director at AXA Private Equity, said, “In a difficult market we have been able to raise additional financing to provide Diana with the financial power to take advantage of new opportunities. This is thanks to the continued strong performance of the company and its low levels of leverage. AXA Private Equity will continue to support Diana in its ambitious growth strategy. The way we work with Diana’s management illustrates how we bring value to our portfolio companies.”
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