Gimv-XL acquires food group stake, prepares second close

The Belgian Gimv-XL fund, which held a first close on €500m in December, has acquired a €75m stake in food group Vandemoortele and opened talks with investors about a second fund close later this year.

Gimv has completed its second deal from growth fund Gimv-XL – which held a first close on €500 million in December – investing €75 million into household food brand Vandemoortele in exchange for an undisclosed minority stake.

Vandemoortele is a 110 year-old Belgian family business which focuses on three market segments: frozen baked goods, margarines and fats, and soy-based foods. It achieved sales of around €1.2 billion in 2008 and has 5,600 employees across 12 European countries.

Gimv-XL, which focuses on growth companies of between €75 million and €750 million, made its debut deal in December with a €25 million investment in renewable energy company Electra Wind, following a €500 million first close that included €250 million from the Flemish government.

The Gimv-XL fund got off to a flying start.

Peter Maenhout

The fund, which is targeting €750 million for a final close, is now having “first talks with potential investors” to raise additional capital for the second closing of the fund later this year, the firm said. To assist its fundraising efforts it has installed a new supervisory board to oversee the governance of Gimv-XL. Luc Vandewalle, chairman of the board of directors at ING Belgium, has been appointed as independent chairman of the supervisory board.

“The Gimv-XL fund got off to a flying start. We have a strong deal flow, as illustrated by our first investments, moreover we are looking into other deals,” Peter Maenhout, who was appointed executive vice president responsible for Gimv-XL last month, said in a statement.

Listed on Euronext Brussels, Gimv’s other vehicles include the Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen, a Flemish biotech venture fund, and DG Infra+, a joint venture with European banking group Dexia focused on infrastructure projects in Belgium.