Mademoiselle Desserts has been owned by PE firm Equistone since 2013

Mademoiselle Desserts has been owned by PE firm Equistone since 2013

Pan-European private equity firm IK Investment Partners has entered into exclusive negotiations with counterpart Equistone Partners Europe to acquire a majority stake in French frozen bakery specialist Mademoiselle Desserts.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and consultation with employee representatives.

Established in 1984, Mademoiselle Desserts is a manufacturer of frozen industrial finished and semi-finished pastry in Europe.

French media reports estimate the value of the deal at EUR330m (US394.7m) but this has not been confirmed.

Commenting on Mademoiselle Desserts' prospective new owner, CEO Didier Boudy, said: "IK's unrivalled experience investing in European food businesses makes them an ideal partner. With their support, Mademoiselle Desserts will be well-positioned to capture market share and continue its active build-up strategy, for which we were actively backed by Equistone over these last years."

For his part, IK partner Rémi Buttiaux noted: "This investment opportunity fits perfectly into IK's investment strategy. We are impressed by the group's development in the UK, France and the Netherlands. Together with the management team, we will strive to broaden the product portfolio via targeted acquisition opportunities."

Owned by Equistone since November 2013, Mademoiselle Desserts operates nine production sites across France, the UK and the Netherlands and has an annual turnover of around EUR220m, of which 45% is generated outside of France. It employs 1,500 staff.

In January 2017, the company acquired UK dessert maker Ministry of Cake for an undisclosed sum.