Compagnie Léa Nature, a France-based organic food business, has acquired local honey specialist Famille Mary.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, sees Périgny-based Léa Nature take control of a century-old family business based on 100 partner beekeepers employing 125 people, along with 250,000 customers.

Famille Mary sells its honey products online but it also has a physical network of 30 stores.

Its products are also distributed in delicatessens, cheese shops, Parisian department stores and through supermarket group Monoprix. They are also exported.

Léa Nature, chaired by Charles Kloboukoff, will take 94% of the shares in Famille Mary, with 6% remaining in the hands of the company’s senior executives.

Famille Mary manager Benoît Mary, grandson of the business’s founder, said: “For almost 100 years, Famille Mary has contributed to the balance of life thanks to bees, while respecting the planet, and it is a mission of common good around the preservation of the precious and fragile resources that are the bees, that I pass on with confidence to Compagnie Léa Nature, an independent French family-owned organic and natural products company, carried by the imprint of Charles Kloboukoff.”

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Kloboukoff said: “When Benoît told me about his transmission project, I was first very honoured that he thought of us. For several years now, I have been following with interest his beautiful, century-old company, entirely focused on promoting beehive products for health, well-being and beauty.”

Compagnie Léa Nature, which has 1,780 employees, expects its annual turnover to be around EUR500m (US$595.4m) in 2020.