Wessanen agrees to US$997m takeover offer from a consortium of PAI

UK – The Kallø, Whole Earth, and Clipper Teas brands owner Wessanen UK has announced that it has accepted a takeover offer from a consortium of private equity firm in a US$997.83 million (885 million euros) all-cash offer deal.

Wessanen will be bought by a consortium consisting of private equity firm PAI Partners and Charles Jobson, Wessanen’s largest shareholder, something the company said will enable it to further invest in organic foods.

PAI will acquire 100% of shares with commitment to support the management team of Wessanen, provide resources to further develop the business and upgrade its operations to improve the efficiency across the entire value chain.

Following the transaction, PAI will hold approximately 62% and Charles Jobson approximately 38% in the Consortium.

The transaction will not have a direct impact on the total workforce and the Wessanen headquarters will remain in Amsterdam.

“Our vision is to build a European leader in organic and sustainable food. We want to remain at the forefront of making food healthier and more sustainable for the benefit of both consumers and the planet,” said Christophe Barnouin, CEO of Wessanen.

“This requires a long-term commitment from shareholders and long-term investments.

“It is all the more critical in an era where organic, sustainable and healthy themes have grown increasingly popular, which in turn has resulted in a more competitive landscape.”

The consortium has pledged to support Wessanen’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the aspired group-wide B Corp. certification and its goal to minimize its environmental footprint and waste.

Wessanen expects to benefit from the consortium’s extensive network and relationships across the Food & Consumer sector in Europe.

“Wessanen is extremely well-positioned in the European health food industry, housing high-quality brands and being at the forefront on innovation in this rapidly growing sector,” said Gaëlle d’Engremont, partner at PAI Partners.

“We intend to accelerate Wessanen’s growth using our experience in the food and consumer space and investing further in the brands and the people of Wessanen to increase the reach of the company.

“We are fully committed to Wessanen’s current strategy and are excited to work alongside their passionate management team and long-time shareholder Charles Jobson.”

Talks for a possible buyout by the consortium surfaced last month as it strives to grow its organic and whole foods business in Europe and North America.

The company recently launched new organic gravy granules that are low in salt.

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