ECM, Parcom buy Nestlé food business

German equity house ECM Equity Capital Management has led the MBO of Eismann, a European direct distributor of frozen foods with sales of €480m.

ECM Equity Capital Management has led the management buyout of Eismann, a Germany-based direct distributor of frozen foods, from Swiss conglomerate Nestlé.

Investing from German Equity Partners II (GEP II), ECM agreed to acquire a majority stake in the company. Parcom Ventures, the Dutch private equity group sponsored by ING, co-invested in the deal, as did Eismann’s management led by CEO Frank Hoefer

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. According to a press release Eismann, which was founded in 1974 and became part of Nestlé in 2001, in 2003 turned over €480 million and serviced 2.3 million customers across Western Europe.

ECM’s engagement was led by senior partners Christopher Peisch and Stefan Rebman. Due diligence was conducted by KPMG, CMS Hasche Siegle and Condis. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to complete by the end of August.

Frankfurt-based ECM currently manages €200 million of equity capital on behalf of institutions including BancBoston Capital, ING BHF-Bank and Fortis Bank.

GEP II is a €125 million limited partnership that was formed in 1999. According to an ECM spokesperson, the fund will reach the end of its investment period in November 2004. Fundraising for the firm’s third vehicle is scheduled to commence in 2005, the spokesperson said.