DENMARK –Bettcher Industries, a leading manufacturer of protein processing equipment, has signed a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Frontmatec from Axcel.

Frontmatec is a global manufacturer of end-to-end automated solutions for pork and beef processing, with world-class robotics and vision system capabilities.

The Kolding, Denmark headquartered company serves as a full-line supplier of processing equipment, parts and services, instruments, and software, which help solve key issues around food and worker safety.

The transaction represents an important step in Bettcher’s strategy to build a scaled food processing automation platform serving food processing plants globally.

In addition to delivering leading automation capabilities, the purchase of Frontmatec deepens Bettcher’s footprint in Europe.

Following the acquisition, Frontmatec’s executive team led by Allan Kristensen is expected to remain in place to continue to grow the business after the transaction closes.

“Frontmatec has built a leading brand and position by enabling customers to continuously improve the productivity and safety of their workforce,” said Tim Swanson, CEO of Bettcher.

 “The Company’s capabilities in automation and its global presence make it a superb fit for the Bettcher platform, and we are excited to work with Allan and his team to extend our collective innovation leadership.”

Bettcher will continue to add other world-leading food processing capabilities while maintaining Frontmatec’s strong culture and values.

As part of the transaction, KKR which acquired Bettcher in 2021, will extend its employee engagement program to all employees at Frontmatec.

The strategy’s cornerstone is to allow all employees to take part in the benefits of ownership by granting them the opportunity to participate in any equity return alongside KKR.

We are thrilled to welcome Frontmatec and its automated food processing capabilities into the Bettcher and KKR family, and thank Axcel for creating an industry leader in automated protein processing,” said Josh Weisenbeck and Brandon Brahm, Partners in KKR’s Industrials investment team.

“Importantly, we look forward to incorporating Frontmatec and making all employees owners in the combined business as the latest example of our participation in the shared ownership movement.”

The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2022 subject to customary regulatory approvals.

KKR said that it will invest additional capital from its North American private equity strategy to support the transaction.

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