ECM sells frozen food group to ICG(2)

The management of eismann, a German frozen food group, have teamed up with mezzanine provider Intermediate Capital Group to buy out their current private equity owners.

ECM Equity Capital Management, a Frankfurt-based private equity firm, has sold frozen food company eismann to management for an undisclosed sum.

The management team, led by chief executive Frank Hoefer, will acquire a majority interest in the company from ECM and co-investor Parcom Ventures, a subsidiary of Dutch group ING. London-based mezzanine provider Intermediate Capital Group will co-invest alongside the management team.

ECM and Parcom bought eismann from Nestlé in 2004, and the company has since enjoyed very modest growth, with revenues increasing from €480 million in 2003 to €494 million ($664 million) last year. Eismann is the second biggest provider of frozen food products for home delivery in Germany, with a 25 percent market share, and employs nearly 5,000 people.

PwC advised the management team. The deal is subject to competition approval, which is expected in the next few weeks.

ICG has the largest independent mezzanine investment team in Europe with 35 executives based in London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm and Frankfurt. It recently closed a fund with €2.25 billion of firepower.

ECM manages funds in excess of €450 million and is a mid-market investor in the manufacturing, services and retail sectors, targeting companies with sales of between €25 million and €500 million.