Swiss dairy major Emmi is planning to buy the France-based frozen-bakery business Mademoiselle Desserts.

The enterprise value of the deal, which is subject to regulatory and competition approvals, was set at €900m ($974.3m). Emmi said it will finance the transaction through debt and cash on hand.

Mademoiselle Desserts, based in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, generated sales of around €420m last year and employs about 2,000 people, Emmi said in a statement today (5 July).

Emmi added that once the deal is completed, the “premium desserts niche” would account for around 17% of its total sales. The company posted group sales last year of SFr4.2bn ($4.6bn), representing organic growth of 3% and 0.3% when adjusted for acquisitions and currency effects.

Ricarda Demarmels, Emmi’s CEO, said: “With the contemplated acquisition of the Mademoiselle Desserts Group, we have the ambition of strengthening our strategic premium desserts category and, as ‘category captain’ and preferred business partner, will be able to offer our customers an innovative and high-quality full range.

“This strategically important step would allow us to exploit the global growth opportunities in the premium desserts category and take our portfolio transformation further.”

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Mademoiselle Desserts CEO Didier Boudy would remain with the business post-transaction but would head up Emmi’s so-called “powerhouse” in desserts, including businesses in Italy and the US.

Meanwhile, London-headquartered private-equity firm IK Partners said it had entered into an agreement with Emmi for the sale of its undisclosed “stake” in Mademoiselle Desserts.

Just Food has asked Emmi to clarify the parties from which the shares will be acquired. It said today the company had entered a “put option agreement” for Mademoiselle Desserts, suggesting a combination of the IK Partners’ stake and the rest from other shareholders.

Boudy said in the IK Partners’ statement: “We would like to thank IK for their unwavering support over the past six years. This period has allowed us to get through several major global crises, but we have emerged stronger thanks to the dedication of our teams and the expertise and financial support of IK.”

IK Partners added that since it became involved in the business in 2018, Mademoiselle Desserts has acquired a number of companies: Galana in 2023, Planète Gourmets in 2021, Les Délices Des 7 Vallées in 2019 and Pâtisserie Michel Kremer in 2018.

The pastry maker now operates out of 12 production sites in France, the Benelux countries and the UK.

Rémi Buttiaux, a managing partner at IK, said: “Since we invested in Mademoiselle Desserts in 2018, we have been extremely impressed by the professionalism and expertise of the entire team.

“Together, we have implemented organic growth, operational excellence and several external growth operations, which have consolidated its position as the European leader in the frozen-pastry market.”