BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity takes stake in Food Associates Group
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity is expanding its portfolio by acquiring a minority interest in the fast-growing Food Associates Group. This Belgian food group is the market leader in traditionally-produced organic bread products in our country, trading under the brand names Bio De Trog and Pur Pain; and a pioneer in authentic slow food concepts such as the Mediterranean vegetables and tapenades trading under the brand names Delisol and Sud'n'Sol.
Food Associates Group was formed in 2002 following the merger of Bio Bakkerij De Trog with Delisol. From the beginning, the focus was set on offering high-quality, traditionally-produced food creations with an authentic and natural flavour. In 2012, the company acquired Missault, a manufacturer of premium quality ice-cream and novel frozen desserts.
In 2017, the food group achieved a turnover of around EUR 37m and it has grown by an average of 10% per year over the last 10 years. In early 2016, as the first Belgian food company ever, Bio Bakkerij De Trog took home the prestigious 'Factory of the Future Award', which rewards future-oriented, innovative, smart, ecological and respectful entrepreneurship.
Food Associates Group boasts an extensive, European triple-A clientele in retail and food service. The Group currently has 100 talented and dedicated employees and is continually searching for new people to increase its capacity and to allow it to continue to meet the expectations of its customers.
The transaction with BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity involved founders Hendrik Durnez, Peter Rodrigues and Stijn Switten transferring 25% of the shares to BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. This move underscores the three leaders' growth ambitions and independence. Hendrik Durnez: "For many of our employees, it's important to know that we are staying on board and continuing to operate as an independent player."
According to Peter Rodrigues, this transaction provides Food Associates Group with a reliable, institutional, minority shareholder with knowledge of the food sector: "The arrival of BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity as a shareholder is a sign of confidence in our business model and strengthens our financial stability and independence with regard to future growth."
Food Associates Group does have sizeable growth ambitions. "In each of the domains in which the Group operates, we want to become a European leader. This is the only way we can survive in a rapidly globalising food world", says Stijn Switten.
Thomas Ternest, Investment Director, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity: "We were very impressed by the Group's growth trajectory, which is the result of a strong vision and a continued focus on sustainability, quality and innovation. We also see important opportunities for the Group, both in Belgium and abroad."
Jan Bergers, Senior Investment Director, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity adds: "Our investment in Food Associates Group is a perfect illustration of our investment strategy of supporting high-performing medium-sized companies that have leading market positions and major growth potential. As an active partner, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity is determined to help the management to realise its European expansion plans.”
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity: Hilde Junius / Thomas Ternest / Jan Bergers, tel. +32 2 565 47 37
Food Associates Group: Peter Rodrigues, tel +32 475 47 48 71, firstname.lastname@example.org
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity, the risk capital company of BNP Paribas Fortis, has been operating in the private equity market in Belgium since the 1980s. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity engages in minority participations and provides mezzanine financing to high-performing medium-sized companies. Belgian participations of BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity include Studio 100, Novy, Quality Assistance and Point Chaud. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity also manages a portfolio of international buy-out funds and local venture capital funds.