Sweden’s Humble Group has continued its M&A spree, buying local food-ingredients firm Ewalco.

Humble is paying an initial SEK110m (US$12.8m) for Ewalco, a supplier of ingredients to sectors including meat, confectionery and dairy.

The deal, announced on Friday (18 June), is the latest acquisition made by Humble, which changed its name from Bayn Group earlier this year.

Last week, Humble snapped up Swedish confectioner Wellibites, as well as Nordfood and Be:Son Gross, two local importers and distributors of FMCG products. In April, Humble announced the acquisition of five companies in its home market.

“Ewalco is a dream company to bring into the Humble Group, as a leading food-tech player for ingredients in the Nordic region and with a fantastic team of entrepreneurs, the opportunities will be enormous,” Humble CEO Simon Petrén said.

“We are now adding specialist expertise on the ingredients and R&D side, which enables faster expansion and commercialisation of Humble’s outstanding ingredient solutions Eureba and Navia.”

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Petrén added: “That another company with over 40 years of business history chooses to take the step and become part of our group is the finest receipt we can get. With the acquisition, we have established a very strong base for growing the ingredients vertical and with the development of the market, the timing is perfect.”

Humble is putting up SEK55m of the initial SEK110m in cash to buy Ewalco, with the rest to be paid in shares. The company said further payments would be paid “based on EBITDA results” in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Set up in 1980, Ewalco supplies ingredients to “some of the Nordic region’s largest brands and resellers of modern and attractive FMCG products”, Humble said in its stock-exchange filing to announce the deal.

Ewalco generated sales of SEK279.3m and EBITDA of SEK15.3m “for the past 12 months”, the company said. It is forecast to have “average sales and profitability growth of approximately 25% per year in the future”.

Ewalco CEO Mattias Petersson said: “We have built up a stable and profitable company with a leading position in our specialist areas, where we also see a very strong development in new categories, mainly ingredients for functional food and sports nutrition, which today account for over 50% of our sales.”

Humble announced a series of acquisitions in food in 2020, including that of Golden Athlete, a Swedish manufacturer of sugar and calorie-free sauces and dressings.

In 2020, the then Bayn generated net sales of SEK31.8m. On a pro-forma basis, if the acquisitions Bayn made during the year were part of the business for all of 2020, net sales were SEK433.4m.

The company’s adjusted EBITDA was a loss of SEK8.9m, a 32% “improvement” on 2019, Bayn said. On a pro-forma basis, Bayn booked an adjusted EBITDA of SEK50.4m.