Bridgepoint takes the biscuit with Dr Gerard

The UK firm hopes to consolidate the fragmented CEE market following the acquisition of the Polish biscuit maker.

UK-headquartered buyout firm Bridgepoint has bought Dr Gerard, a producer of branded and private label biscuits in Poland, for an undisclosed sum.

Dr Gerard operates from three sites across Poland and employs over 950 people, selling biscuits to retailers across Poland and the wider CEE region. The company was established in 1993 as a family-run operation, before being bought in 2010 by French biscuit maker Groupe Poult – which has itself been majority-owned by buyout firm LBO France since 2007.

According to Bridgepoint, the Polish biscuit market remains heavily fragmented – with the top four players holding just over a third of the market – but is forecast to continue to grow at 6 percent per year as consumption patterns align with those in western Europe. 

Turnover has gone from €43 million in 2010 to an estimated €57 million in 2013, while EBITDA has grown from €13 million to €14 million – although this includes an annual investment of €3 million in the long-term transformation of the business, Bridgepoint said.

“With its differentiated and innovative value-for-money products, strong preferred partnership status with its trade customers and robust operational execution, [Dr Gerard] is set to consolidate its position in Poland and develop a significant international platform in the CEE,” Khai Tan, the partner responsible for Bridgepoint’s activities in the CEE region, said in a statement.

Bridgepoint has raised over $12 billion of capital to date. In September it agreed to acquire AHT Cooling Systems, the Austrian fridge systems manufacturer, from Quadriga for €585m. That month it also sold Terveystalo, the Finnish private healthcare provider, to EQT for an undisclosed sum.