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CapVest buys up three Nordic poultry producers

IRISH-headed private-equity house CapVest has created the biggest poultry producer in the Nordic regions after buying up three companies across Scandinavia.

Under chief executive Seamus FitzPatrick, CapVest has become one of the most active private-equity firms in Europe in recent years – especially in the food sector.

In Ireland, CapVest controls the Mater Private Hospital and a number of Irish food brands through its Valeo Foods unit.

In its latest deal, CapVest worked with Swedish firm Lantmannen to take over Kronfagel Group in Sweden and Denmark from Lantmannen, and Cardinal Foods in Norway from CapMan.

The deal creates a company with annual turnover of about €600m a year that will be "well positioned" for "further development in international markets, as well as opportunities for product development and innovation".

Commenting on the transaction, CapVest partner Kate Briant said the food industry was an important part of CapVest's business.

Exceptional

"Food is one of our core investment sectors. It is fundamentally non-discretionary while offering strong potential for consolidation and growth," she said.

"This transaction combines market-leading businesses with an exceptional management team, creating a platform from which to grow and expand both locally and further afield."

CapVest will be the controlling shareholder, with 52pc; and Lantmannen will hold the minority stake of 48pc.

The terms of the transaction are undisclosed. Completion is subject to Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Competition Authority approval.

Its ownership of the Mater Private was financed through the €500m CapVest Equity Partners II Fund, and the same vehicle was used to set up Valeo Foods two years ago when it combined Origin Enterprises consumer brands with Jacobs Fruitfield.

That company now owns several of Ireland's best known brands, including Bachelors' beans and Jacob's biscuits.

Last year, CapVest sold United Coffee for close to €1bn.

Irish Independent