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March 16, 2022updated 18 Mar 2022 5:43pm

Cerealto Siro Foods gets private-equity majority owners

The Spain-based co-manufacturer and private-label producer had been looking for investment.

By Dean Best

Private-equity firms Davidson Kempner and Afendis Capital Management have teamed up to buy a majority stake in Spain’s Cerealto Siro Foods.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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Madrid-based Cerealto Siro Foods, a co-manufacturing and private-label business making products including biscuits and pasta, had been looking for investment.

In November, reports in Spain said the company had received four offers, with talks at an advanced stage. A month later, Spanish publication El Español said France-based Biscuit International had been chosen by Cerealto Siro Foods and due diligence was underway.

However, Davidson Kempner and Afendis Capital Management, who work together investing in the food and pharma sectors, have struck a deal to acquire a majority shareholding in the business after winning the backing of creditors and the company’s main shareholder and founder Juan Manuel González Serna. He will own the rest of the shares in the company.

Terms were not disclosed. El Español said the funds were injecting EUR80m (US$88.1m) into the business and would acquire a 75% stake.

In a statement, Cerealto Siro Foods said four offers had been on the table. It described the deal as “a key milestone for the company”.

The business also said it is in talks with staff representatives over “a plan to improve competitiveness”. Cerealto Siro Foods is aiming to “reduce its excess fixed costs”. In recent moves, the company has sold factories in Spain to Grupo Bimbo, the Mexican bakery giant, and to local business executive Felix Gullón.

Asked if Cerealto Siro Foods plans to cut jobs or sell more factories, the company told Just Food: “We are not working on plans to reduce headcount or close plants, but rather to meet the goals of our strategic plan, and all the decisions we have to make will be subject to the fulfillment of those goals.”

In the statement, the company said the investment from Davidson Kempner and Afendis Capital Management, plus the moves to reduce costs, would “make it possible to definitively strengthen the company’s own funds and its balance sheet structure”.

Cerealto Siro Foods reportedly has debts of around EUR300m. In its statement, the company would only say it has target of generating a “recurring EBITDA” of EUR20.5m this year.

The group’s other “objectives” are to “definitively consolidate financial sustainability, ensure customer confidence and continue to promote its people to recover its position in the market”.

González Serna is to stay on as Cerealto Siro Foods’ president.

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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