IK, AXA PE-backed ingredients makers to merge


France’s Savena Group and Belgium’s Sfinc Group, two providers of food ingredient mixes owned by IK Investment Partners and AXA Private Equity respectively, have agreed to a merger of the companies.

The combination will nearly double the size of Savena, which will become Savena Sfinc, and significantly increase its geographic footprint. Both management teams have the support of their respective financial investor.

Savena and Sfinc design and produce ingredient-based culinary products for clients across Europe. Both groups have a robust growth track-record and have achieved double-digit growth rates in 2011, AXA Private Equity said.

Savena has 250 employees and is expected to generate annualised turnover of €102m in 2011. Sfinc has 204 employees and its turnover is expected to exceed €75m for the same period.

The combination of the two companies comes four months after IK acquired Savena and one month after a first acquisition in Sweden. Sfinc has been supported by AXA Private Equity since 2008, over which time the company has doubled its size. Growth was boosted by merging Sfinc with Jadico, the Netherlands-based food manufacturer, in June 2010.

Dan Soudry, a partner at IK, said, “We are delighted that we have been able to support Savena’s management team in this transaction. The two businesses are highly complementary and this merger represents a key milestone of our equity story by enabling us to double Savena’s size in less than six months. It also follows the recent bolt-on acquisition of Formidabel in Sweden. We are now looking forward to working with Savena Sfinc combined management team to help generate the significant cross-selling and purchasing synergies already identified.”

Arnaud Dufer, a managing director at AXA Private Equity, added, “The close relationship we have with Sfinc’s management team has allowed us to double the size of the company in three years. This has been achieved through our international network, dynamic build-up strategy and significant experience in the food ingredients industry. Following discussions initiated in 2009, we are delighted to support the merger between these two companies which will create a European leader in the sector.”

IK bought Savena from Azulis Capital and Céréa Capital in July this year.

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