Wessanen in talks with a consortium of funds for a possible buyout

NETHERLANDS – The Dutch multinational food company, Wessanen has confirmed that it is in discussions a consortium of funds managed by PAI Partners SAS for a potential takeover.

Also participating in discussions include various entities controlled by Jobson and his family who have also shown interest in the buyout.

The company said that it has recommended a public offer by the Consortium for all the issued and outstanding shares of Wessanen at an offer price of EUR 11.50 (US$13.05), to be paid fully in cash.

Mr. Jobson, who has been a shareholder of Wessanen since 2009, and currently owns a stake of approximately 25.74% said he would roll over approximately 80% of his shareholding in Wessanen.

PAI is a pan-European private-equity firm, managing and advising buyout funds and co-owns the ice-cream business Froneri with Nestle

The company which makes Whole Earth peanut butter and Mrs Crimble’s cakes revealed that it had in early February received an initial expression of interest initiated by the Consortium regarding a potential recommended public offer but was rejected by the company board.

“After several revised proposals, the Consortium, on 5 March 2019, sent a proposal to Wessanen for the Potential Transaction, including an offer price of EUR 11.50 (cum dividend) per share, to be fully paid in cash, as well including certain non-financial terms.

On 5 March 2019, such proposed offer price represented a premium of 23.7% to the preceding day closing price, a premium of 30.7% to the 30 days VWAP, a premium of 32.2% to the 60 days VWAP and a premium of 29.2% to the 90 days VWAP.

After careful review and consideration, the Boards, together with their financial and legal advisors concluded that this proposal warranted engaging with the Consortium to explore the feasibility and merits of the Potential Transaction.

Currently, due diligence is taking place and the parties will be exploring the terms of a merger protocol,” said the company in a statement.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Wessanen which focuses on organic and whole foods with operations in Europe and North America posted 0.6% growth in revenues to US$712.87 million in the year 2018.

The company completed the acquisition of organic almond and coconut-based yoghurt alternatives and ice-cream, Abbot Kinney’s last September.

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