APAX buys French snack company

The deal is a secondary buyout agreement with IK Investment Partners.  

APAX Partners has acquired France-based Europe Snacks from IK Investment Partners, according to a joint statement. The firms did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

Europe Snacks produces savoury snacks under private label brand names for retail clients and had turnover of around €77 million during 2012, producing more than 200 products.

IK bought a majority stake in Europe Snacks in October 2010 and expanded its product lines and activities in the UK.

Rémi Buttiaux, partner at IK Investment Partners, said in a statement, “Turnover grew by 50 percent in three years under IK's ownership. With IK’s support, the company carried out a large investment programme, developed its existing product range and launched new product lines. In particular, it built a new production site and increased its workforce by 20 percent.”

APAX plans to grow the business further across France and other parts of Europe.

“Our aim is to support Europe Snacks in its on-going growth in Europe by providing it with the human and financial resources necessary to continue its innovation and its industrial investments,” Bruno Candelier, partner at Apax Partners, added.

The firms are not the only private equity investors that have tapped the opportunity in Europe’s snacks sector.

This week, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the $130 million Canadian pension fund, agreed to buy Burton’s Biscuit Company, a UK biscuit maker that produces popular treats including Cadbury Fingers, Maryland Cookies, Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels and Lyons, according to a statement from the firm.

“We look forward to supporting Burton's outstanding management team to grow the business in the UK and further into overseas markets. There are also many strategic acquisitions to consider in those territories that can enhance these ambitious growth plans,” said Jo Taylor, head of OTPP’s London office, in a statement.