Henderson makes German acquisition

Dutch private equity firm Gilde has sold Homann-Feinkost to London-headquartered Henderson Private Capital in a transaction valued at €140m.

Henderson Private Capital, the private equity arm of Henderson Global Investors, has acquired German chilled foods producer Homann-Feinkost in a transaction valued at approximately €140 million ($180 million) according to a source close to the transaction.

Henderson beat off a number of other private equity firms including 3i, EQT and Quadriga in a competitive auction process, according to the source.

Commenting on that process, Frankfurt-based partner Walter Moldan, who led the transaction for Henderson told PEO: “We were invited to the transaction alongside a number of others, but we consistently pursued the opportunity with engagement to prevail.”

Dissen, Germany-based Homann produces food products for the chilled and convenience food sectors. The firm generates annual sales of approximately €260 million and employs 1,140 people. Moldan added that the firm hoped to grow sales to somewhere in the region of €400 million through further European expansion.

Utrecht, Holland-headquartered Gilde acquired a 51 percent stake in Homann in a management buyout from Anglo-Dutch food conglomerate Unilever in December 1999. The transaction was made from Gilde’s €535 million Buyout Fund I.

The transaction is Henderson’s first German and fourth European acquisition of the year, following the investment in UK marine publisher Boat International in August and two Italian acquisitions: Wellnet, the health and fitness company and cement filtration business Redecam Group.

Henderson is currently investing its €400 million fund, Henderson European Partners I, LP, that invests in €10-60 million management buyouts and expansion capital, predominantly in the UK, Italy and Germany.

Recently, Henderson lost the head of its fund of funds division, Jan Faber, who left the firm last month to head up the London office of Bregal Investments, the investment vehicle for the Brenninkmeijer family fortune.