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AXA Private Equity invests in frozen snack maker frostkrone

1 Aug 2012

The private equity arm of French insurance giant AXA has bought the entire share capital of German frozen snack product maker frostkrone Holding alongside the company’s management, which is reinvesting.

The previous majority shareholder, Argantis Beteiligungs, a private equity firm focused on German SMEs, has now fully exited from the company.

Financial terms of the deal – which was made through AXA Private Equity’s Expansion Fund II and III vehicles – were not disclosed.

frostkrone and its subsidiary, Bornholter, produce and market frozen finger food and snack products such as mozzarella sticks, cream cheese jalapeños, chilli cheese nuggets and sushi.

The company has a diverse product portfolio based on cheese, fish, vegetables and baked goods, and markets its products in food retail outlets and the food service sector.

The frostkrone Group has 102 employees and generated sales of about €36m last year.

AXA Private Equity and the frostkrone management together intend to boost the company’s international business activities, both by expanding its sales organisation and by means of selective acquisitions in a fragmented market environment, AXA Private Equity said.

There are also plans to further strengthen the company’s product development capability. No changes will be made to the frostkrone management team.

“Changes in life style and eating habits have led to an increasing demand for finger food and snack products,” said Dirk Wittneben, a managing director at AXA Private Equity.

“frostkrone is in an excellent position to benefit from this and to further strengthen its market position in Europe. We look forward to working with the frostkrone management in the coming years and to supporting them in the implementation of the group’s growth strategy.”

The deal marks AXA Private Equity’s second in less than a week after it agreed to buy a stake in French engineering group Fives from London-based buyout house Charterhouse last Friday.

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