Paris, 29 May 2020
Ardian-backed Kersia acquires Manchester-based Holchem, and becomes Europe’s second largest food safety company
The acquisition is the second largest add-on since Ardian invested in the company in 2016
Kersia, a global leader in biosecurity and food safety, announces the completion of the acquisition of Holchem from Ecolab. With this important milestone, Kersia becomes a leader in the UK hygiene sector and the second largest player in Europe. Holchem will join Kersia’s global operations platform that spans from Northern Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and China. The Holchem acquisition is being supported by additional capital from Ardian, one of the world’s leading private investment houses.
Based near Manchester, Holchem is the leading provider of hygiene and food safety solutions and technology in the UK. A large majority of the company’s sales are directed to the food,beverage and dairy industries, with additional sales to the food service, retail, institutional and farm sectors. With a turnover of approximately €55 million, Holchem operates from two industrial sites located in Bury and Liphook, primarily serving the UK market.
Following the acquisition of Kilco in July 2018, which enabled Kersia to penetrate the UK livestock sector (dairy, poultry and swine); the Holchem transaction allows Kersia to continue its development in this key geography, leveraging Holchem’s strong positioning to provide leadership in the British Food&Beverage Hygiene market.
Joined together, Kersia and Holchem will be able to benefit from major growth opportunities in the context of high global health and food safety standards, which are continuously rising. In the UK market, Kersia and Holchem are truly complementarity, both in terms of geographies and sectors, offering an important synergy opportunity, especially as country-specific standards and customer requirements become increasingly more stringent. Both companies share common values via their strong focus on environment and social responsibility and offer innovative digital solutions to enable their clients’ productivity.
During the ongoing Covid-19 public health crisis, both companies have been and remain strongly committed to supporting their customers and wider communities by refocusing operations towards the traditional products which have been most in demand, such as disinfectant and hand-hygiene solutions, while also continuing to support the rising demand for biosecurity protocols and enabling knowledge-sharing and best practices.
Kersia was formed as a new company in 2016 after Hypred acquired Antigerm, LCB Food Safety, G3, Kilco and Choisy Laboratories, each acquisition carefully chosen for their respective technologies and leading and complementary market positions. Kersia aims to improve the performance of the agricultural and food industries by preventing the spread of animal and human diseases, often caused by contamination in the food supply chain. The company offers also solutions to the healthcare sector. Following this acquisition, Kersia will operate in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million.
Sébastien Bossard, CEO of Kersia declares: “We are thrilled to welcome the Holchem teams to the Group. Their DNA, the quality of their work, the experience of their employees, their solutions, their services, strongly oriented towards the food industry in the UK and Ireland, make them very complementary to our current operations. This merger will enable us to make new solutions and services available to Kersia’s customers throughout the world, and in the same way, will provide Holchem’s local teams and customers with Kersia’s solutions to help combat contamination by pathogens of the food chain in one of the world’s largest food processing regions. We look forward to working together with Holchem Management team and employees and continuing Holchem’s successful development.”
Stuart Middleton, Managing Director of Holchem adds: “Over the years, Holchem has built a prominent position in the hygiene and food safety solutions market in the UK and Ireland thanks to its comprehensive and innovative offering. We can be proud of what our managers and employees have achieved. We are very excited to join the Kersia Group of companies, which has become a global leader in food safety in a few years, and we look forward to contributing to Kersia Group’s growth, both in our home markets and globally. We believe that this important transaction will bring many opportunities to all our employees and our customers in the combined organisation.”
Thibault Basquin, Head of Americas Investments for Ardian Buyout: “Once again, we are extremely proud to support Kersia in this major deal, marking a new stage in the Group’s development. This is the sixth build-up Kersia has effectuated in less than four years. The partnership with Holchem will enable Kersia to become truly global, and Europe’s second largest player in food safety. The group is now more capable than ever to become a trusted partner in a rapidly growing market and will continue to work tirelessly to meet the global demand.”
Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animals and humans at every stage of the food supply chain. The company offers also solutions to the healthcare sector
Following the acquisition, Kersia will operate in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million.
Holchem Group Limited is a food safety specialist providing hygiene solutions and technology primarily to the food, beverage, dairy, food service, institutional and retail sectors. Holchem operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a turnover of approximately €55 million.
Ardian is one of the world’s leading private equity firms with $96 billion under management and/or advisory in Europe, America and Asia. The company, which is majority owned by its employees, has always placed entrepreneurship at the heart of its approach and offers its international investors top-tier performance. Through its commitment to sharing the value created with all stakeholders, Ardian contributes to the growth of companies and economies around the world. Based on its values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian benefits from an international network of 680 employees in 15 offices in Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), North America (New York, San Francisco), South America (Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). The company manages the funds of 1,000 clients through its five investment pillars: Funds of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
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List of participants
Kersia: Sébastien Bossard, Stéphane Le Dallic, Béatrice Texier, Alban Houssin
Ardian: Thibault Basquin, Nicolas Darnaud, Alexandre Vannelle, Alexis Manet, Jean-Baptiste Hunaut
o Evercore (Tom Massey, Greg-Henri Bize, Maximilian Rempel)
– Brodies (William McIntosh, Alasdair Dunn, Gina Malone, Jennifer Sim)
– Latham & Watkins (Gaëtan Gianasso, Timothée Brunello, Aymerick Fradin)
– Latham & Watkins (Xavier Farde, Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro)
– Latham & Watkins (Olivia Rauch-Ravise, Yann Auregan)
Buy-side due diligence:
o Finance: Accuracy (Frédéric Loeper, Andrés Rothschild)
o Commercial: Bain (Jérôme Brunet, Andrea Gondekova, Ghofrane Maaroufi)
o Operations: Advancy (Jérôme Salomon, Vincent Delaeter)
o Legal & social: Brodies (William McIntosh, Alasdair Dunn, Gina Malone, Jennifer Sim)
o Tax: Arsene Taxand (Mirouna Verban, Terry Khayat) and Alvarez & Marshal (Ian Flemming, Jagdip Bharij, Gurvinder Vim, Amish Patel)
o Environmental: Malcolm Hollis (David Smith, Elliott Lockyer)
o Regulatory: Socotec (Patrick Levy, Nazanin Golbamaki, Valérie Migaud-Sapin)