Equistone backs Européenne des Desserts’ acquisition of The Handmade Cake Company
Européenne des Desserts (“the Group"), supported by Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), has continued its expansion in the UK with the acquisition of The Handmade Cake Company (“the Company"), located in Maidenhead, Berkshire, near London.
Established in 1983, The Handmade Cake Company today has a turnover of £12 million (EUR 15 million) and employs 143 people. The company specialises in making handmade cakes from traditional English or American recipes and has won 29 Great Taste Awards over the last 12 years.
The Company’s products are distributed to coffee shops and national and regional wholesalers in the UK and are exported to a number of Continental European countries. Its classic cakes include: caramel shortcake, carrot cake and Victoria sponge cake. The Handmade Cake Company also produces gluten-free cakes which are enjoying good market growth.
Until now, Européenne des Desserts has had five production units - four in France and one, Speciality Desserts, in the UK. Following this acquisition, Européenne des Desserts will be able to accelerate its growth in the UK and focus on increasing production capacities for high growth markets such as gluten-free product ranges.
In 2015, the Group will be targeting a turnover of more than £120 million (EUR150 million), including £20 million (EUR25 million) in the UK. The majority of this acquisition has been financed in cash. The remainder has been contributed by Ardian debt funds and by individual vendors who have re-invested in the Company.
Didier Boudy, Chairman of Européenne des Desserts commented:
“The Handmade Cake Company’s DNA is perfectly aligned with that of Européenne des Desserts: high quality products and excellent customer service. Furthermore, its products and clients complement the existing Group’s. We are also pleased to have such a respected and motivated management team joining Européenne des Desserts; this new team will play an integral role in developing the Group in the UK.
“Equistone’s industry network and knowledge of this sector has not only enabled this deal to go ahead, but will also support the Group’s ongoing growth and development. We look forward to the future successes of the combined businesses.”
Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe said:
“We are delighted to be supporting Européenne des Desserts in this exciting acquisition. Equistone’s presence in the UK, paired with its experience supporting portfolio companies to grow organically and through acquisition, has allowed this deal’s rapid and effective completion. We look forward to realising the great synergies between these businesses and working closely with their experienced management teams.”
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