KKR-backed Upfield Group acquires Violife brand owner Arivia

NETHERLANDS – Upfield Group, a plant-based butter and spreads producer owned by private equity giant, KKR, has completed the acquisition of Violife brand owner, Arivia.

Following the acquisition, which was first announced in October 2019, Arivia and the brand Violife, will become part of the Upfield Group of companies which owns iconic household names including, Flora, Country Crock, Stork, Blue Band and Proactiv.

This strategic acquisition will also enable Upfield to enter a new segment, which the company said will present an additional growth opportunity for the company.

Arivia is headquartered in Thessaloniki, Greece, and has a factory located in the north-east of the country. The company is a leading producer of plant-based cheese.

The plant-based cheese market is growing at an increasing pace, and on a global scale. Violife is already the number one plant-based cheese brand in the United Kingdom and Arivia has also built a strong and fast-growing presence in the United States.

Violife’s products are widely distributed in the UK, including through the online grocer Ocado, and at Asda, WholeFoods, Planet Organic, Sainsbury’s and other big food retailers.

Commenting on the closure, David Haines, CEO of Upfield Group B.V. said, “Bringing together plant-based margarines and cheeses under one roof is a natural fit, and we’re confident that the combined expertise of both companies will continue to drive exciting growth and innovation in the plant-based food sector.”

Upfieled claims that this acquisition is aligned with the company’s growth strategy and mission to be the global authority in plant-based foods, especially as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to dairy products.

The company is owned by KKR, the private equity giant that acquired Unilevers spreas business in 2017 for €6.83 billion following a fiercely competitive auction.

With headquarters in Amsterdam, Upfield, which was founded in 1871, is active in more than 95 countries, and has 17 manufacturing sites throughout the world.

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The company is run by David Haines, a former Coca-Cola and Mars executive who also had a spell in the UK as Vodafone’s first global marketing director.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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