Kettle Crisps and Jacobs biscuits owner Valeo Foods Group has been acquired by US private-equity firm Bain Capital for an undisclosed sum.
Bain, has bought the Ireland-based business, which also counts Rowse honey and Balconi cakes among its brands, from fellow investment firm CapVest.
Speculation about the future of Valeo has been rife since the end of March when reports emerged CapVest was looking to sell the business. A number of possible acquirers, including Bain, were mentioned and a sale price of GBP1.5bn (US$2.11bn) suggested.
Seamus Kearney, the group CEO of Valeo, will continue to lead the business with the existing management team under the new owners.
He said: “This transaction is a very positive reflection of the quality of our business and all of our people. It is also testament to the passion and commitment CapVest, our management team and all of our colleagues have shown in continuously delivering best-in-class food products to our customers and consumers across our 106 markets. Bain Capital’s deep knowledge and heritage in innovation and investment in the food and grocery sectors means this is great news for our business and our people.”
Dublin-based Valeo was formed by CapVest more than a decade ago when it bought two Irish food businesses: Batchelors and Origin Foods. Valeo’s M&A activity has continued in recent months, with the purchase of German confectionery business Schluckwerder Holding in January and, in the week before Christmas, the acquisition of UK-based tortilla chip maker It’s All Good.
Valeo is now a business with EUR1.1bn (US$1.34bn) in sales operating in the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe. The company has 24 manufacturing sites and employs more than 4,000 staff.
Nigel Walder, a managing director at Bain Capital, said: “Valeo Foods has been developed into a key player in the European food industry by a talented and ambitious team. We believe Valeo has further potential to grow significantly, both organically and through acquisitions, and look forward to partnering with Seamus and his team to accelerate that growth trajectory and further consolidate the company’s position as a leading international food business.”
Jason Rodrigues, partner at London-based CapVest, added: “The sale of Valeo Foods represents the culmination of our strategy to build a major international food business through a combination of strategic investment, innovation and complementary acquisitions of businesses and brands in categories with stable demand characteristics, where we have applied our team’s deep experience to drive sustainable growth.”
In March, CapVest sold another of its food-industry assets, striking a deal over Eight Fifty Food Group, the UK and Irish meat and seafood processor, which is to be acquired by Canada-based food manufacturer Sofina Foods.