EQT completes acquisition of Findus from Nestlé
Amsterdam January 31, 2000 - EQT Scandinavia B.V. ("EQT"), the investment manager of the EQT Scandinavia II private equity fund, has successfully completed the acquisition of the Findus Frozen Food business. The first stage comprises operations in nine European countries as well as the Findus brand worldwide with the exception of Switzerland, Italy and France. The second stage of the transaction, which is expected to close at the end of February 2000, includes the Findus operations and the Findus brand in France.
Findus is one of Europe's leading European frozen food brands, which has its origins in the Nordic region. The total transaction encompasses Nestlé's full line of frozen food activities in the Nordic region and the UK, including prepared meals, pizzas, recipe dishes, crêpes, vegetables and fish. The transaction also includes parts of Nestlé's frozen food activities in France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and Portugal - mainly vegetables, potatoes and mixes thereof as well as seafood, raw fish and coated fish, including fish fingers under the Croustibat brand. Total estimated pro-forma 1999 sales amounted to approximately EUR 630 million and the business that will be acquired employs approximately 3,500 full time employees.
Through the acquisition of the Findus frozen food business, EQT intends to create the leading Pan-European brand for frozen food. The business plan builds on improving the growth and the overall profitability of the business.
In addition to developing the business organically, it is EQT's intention that Findus shall be a proactive player within the consolidation of the European frozen food business.
Claes Dahlbäck, Chairman of EQT, commented "I am very pleased to have successfully completed such a complex transaction with Nestlé. We believe the business has considerable potential and in conjunction with the highly competent management team we intend to invest in, and develop the Findus brand and the acquired frozen food business both organically and through add on acquisitions in the Nordic region and throughout Europe."
The management team of Findus will consist of Carel van Bemmelen as CEO, former head of United Biscuits International; Alf Ehinger as CFO, former group controller at AB Volvo; and Henk Spoon as Head of Marketing and Product Innovation, former Vice President, Customer Business Development, Procter & Gamble World-wide.
The Board of Directors will consist of Harald Einsmann as Chairman, former Head of Procter & Gamble Europe, Middle East and Africa; Claes Dahlbäck, Chairman of EQT and Vice Chairman of Investor AB; Larry Dare, former Group Vice President of Procter & Gamble; Stefan Elving former Executive Vice President of ICA; and Håkan Johansson, Partner at EQT Partners AB.
EQT has funds under management of SEK 11 billion. Since its inception in 1995 EQT has successfully concluded investments in 21 companies. EQT Partners AB, acting as investment advisor to all EQT funds, has offices in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Munich. EQT realises its business concept by acquiring medium sized companies in Northern Europe and serving as an active owner in close co-operation with the management of the companies acquired.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Claes Dahlbäck
Chairman of EQT Scandinavia B.V., Amsterdam
Tel. +31-20-577 6657
Mr. Håkan Johansson
Senior Partner EQT Partners AB, Stockholm
Tel. +46-8-440 5300