Cerea Mezzanine IV first closing exceeds previous fund size and reaches over 85% target size
Cerea Partners completed the first closing of its 4th Mezzanine fund at the end of April. The Fund has reached more than 85% of its target size, with an investment capacity of approximately €215 million exceeding the size of the 3rd fund.
Cerea relied on the loyalty of its historical LPs, but also on the trust of new French and European investors. This round is mainly made up of institutional investors (banks, insurance companies...) but also includes a number of family offices.
This successful fundraising confirms strong investor confidence in Cerea Partners following its acquisition by its partners in 2019.
In line with Cerea's three previous Mezzanine funds, Cerea Mezzanine IV will invest in French and European small and midcap companies involved in the food and beverage value chain (including ingredients, transformation, health/nutrition, distribution, catering, equipment, packaging, logistics, and other segments that are essential to the proper functioning of the entire value chain).
Limited Partners' enthusiasm for Cerea Mezzanine IV Fund is primarily driven by the strong performance of previous vintages and a very low loss rate over the past fifteen years. Investors also appreciated the quality and experience of the investment team, spanning over several economic cycles, and the team stability, with the most senior partners having worked together for over 10 years.
In the current environment, investors have also been attracted by the consistency of Cerea Mezzanine funds, which derives notably from the resilience of the food and beverage sector and the distinctive features of Mezzanine products. Indeed Mezzanine debt returns being mainly contractual, this financing solution offers numerous protections, in particular against drops in valuation multiples. Like its predecessors, Cerea Mezzanine IV will nonetheless be able to capture additional value creation, for instance through warrants and minority equity stakes.
Investors also valued Cerea Partners' ESG approach, which has been building up since 2010, notably with the recent launch of an ESG rating tool across all three Cerea Partners activities. Cerea Mezzanine IV Fund has ambitious sustainability targets focused on such themes as healthy food, sustainable production and responsible sourcing.
On 23 November 2021, Cerea
completed the acquisition of Chocmod, the world’s leading producer of chocolate
truffles. Ghislain Lesaffre and Antoine Fortin, former majority shareholders,
are reinvesting and supporting the handover of the managerial reins to Emmanuel
Bois.Founded in 1948 in Roncq near Lille (France), Chocmod was
taken over by Ghislain Lesaffre and Antoine Fortin in 2008. It has enjoyed very
strong international growth since then, which notably led to the setting up of a production unit in 2011 in Saint Jean [...]
Founded in 1929, the Hafner group is a well-known family business specializing in the fresh industrial pastry sector (cream pastries, pies, eclairs) and ready-to-stuff pastries such as pie crusts and puff pastries. Led since 2012 by Nicolas Sesmat, the group has pursued a strategy of modernisation of its industrial facilities and acquisitions, which has enabled it to become a major player in its markets with 3 production sites in the Loire, Savoie and Yvelines regions, as well as a small production plant in Canada.On July 28, 2021, Hafner [...]
8, 2021, Cerea Dette II invested in the senior acquisition financing of Babcock
Wanson, on the occasion of the group's takeover by Kartesia from FCDE.
Founded in 1896, Babcock Wanson ("BW") is a European
leader specializing in industrial heating equipment and solutions, designed
in particular for the food & beverage sector which accounts for 40%
of the group’s turnover.
The group benefits from a unique European positioning
thanks to (i) the design and manufacture of a complete range of boilers
and burners designed for [...]
Founded in 1977 in Brittany, France, Omni-Pac Group (previously Cellulose de la Loire « CDL »), is a leading European producer of moulded fibre packaging and responsible solutions, targeting mainly the poultry (the Group’s historical activity), fruits and vegetables and medical markets, as well as new applications.CDL achieved strong growth in the past few years, completing in the process two major build-ups bearing attractive commercial and industrial synergy potential: Germany-based Omni-Pac, acquired in 2016, and UK-based Moulded Fibre [...]
The Cerea Mezzanine II Fund has fully exited Megg Invest on the occasion of the company's sale to Latour Capital.In 2014, Cerea Mezzanine II financed Motion Equity Partners' acquisition of Celluloses de La Loire (CDL) alongside the management team led by Renaud Malarre. Driven by its excellent knowledge of the company and close relationship with the management team, Cerea Mezzanine II provided a unitranche bridge solution enclosing guaranteed funds which enabled the buyer to secure exclusivity for the takeover of the group from Cerea Capital. [...]
On the 28th of April 2021, Cerea Dette II co-arranged a senior acquisition financing for health nutrition provider Nutrisens, on the occasion of Sagard's takeover of the group.Nutrisens is a French and European leader in health nutrition, supplying medical establishments (hospitals, retirement homes, pharmacies) with a wide range of nutritional products dedicated to the needs of elderly and/or vulnerable individuals suffering from dysphagia (swallowing disorders) or undernourishment.The group meets its clients' requirements through two [...]
Cerea Partners completed the first closing of its 4th Mezzanine fund at the end of April. The Fund has reached more than 85% of its target size, with an investment capacity of approximately €215 million exceeding the size of the 3rd fund.Cerea relied on the loyalty of its historical LPs, but also on the trust of new French and European investors. This round is mainly made up of institutional investors (banks, insurance companies...) but also includes a number of family offices.This successful fundraising confirms strong investor confidence [...]
Owned by Cerea, Pierre Ickowicz and the management team since the end of 2018, Icko Apiculture concludes its 3rd acquisition in 2 years in order to expand its footprint across France.Icko Apiculture is the European leader in the distribution of beekeeping Equipment and consumables. Created in 1947, Icko is committed to supporting beekeepers and to protecting bees.The Group distributes the widest range of products available in its market, with more than 4,500 references, and is expecting to achieve a turnover of €40 million in 2021.With the [...]
By supporting Mérieux Equity Partners in the buyout of Plantex Group,
Cerea Partners demonstrates once again the breadth of its sector focus and its
commitment to the health / functional food segment.On 18th December 2020, the Cerea Mezzanine III fund arranged
a mezzanine debt to finance the acquisition of Plantex Group by Mérieux
Equity Partners alongside long-time shareholders.Established in 1990, Plantex specializes in the production of natural
plant extracts dedicated to the nutraceutical (food supplement), [...]
On July 30th, 2020, Cerea Partners, acting through its Cerea Mezzanine III fund, invested in a sponsorless transaction alongside Mr. Eric Chetail and his management team aimed at strengthening their control of Cerise & Potiron group and embarking on a new development phase for the company.An emblematic brand in Lyon and its surroundings, Cerise & Potiron group is a network of city-center grocery stores dedicated to fruits and vegetables. The stores are mainly located in the Rhône-Alpes region. Founded in 1985, the group first developed under [...]
On 25th June 2020, Cerea Partners,
acting through its Cerea Capital II fund, acquired the family-owned Axium
group, the PET (recyclable) & R-PET (recycled) plastic packaging solutions
specialist, in a primary LBO transaction. The group CEO and his team have
reinvested significantly, while Bpifrance acquired a minority stake in the
Based in France, Axium
mainly designs and manufactures plastic packaging solutions for the food,
healthcare and beauty sectors. The group's products are divided between flasks,
plugs, and [...]
On 28th May 2020, Cerea and the company's management finalised the
acquisition of Pagès Group, the specialist for high performance automation
systems. Innovafonds, the previous shareholder, significantly reinvested in
this new operation.Since its inception in 1984,
the group has developed a unique expertise, renowned globally, in robotic
In-Mold Labeling (IML) systems, thus placing it as the global leader in this
niche market.Under the initiative of Yannick
Ains, the group's CEO, who succeeded Philippe Olichon in 2016, the group [...]
Cerea Partners has been
acquired on 25th October 2019 by its management team. The firm was
previously owned by Unigrains, its sole shareholder since its inception in
2004. Following this transaction, the team now owns 87.0% of the management
company's share capital. Two historic Limited Partners of Cerea funds, MACSF
and SMABTP, have lent their support to the team and now own, respectively, 8.7%
and 4.3% of the management company. The transaction will not affect day-to-day
business as its 26 employees will continue to channel Cerea [...]
Dette II makes two new investments in Spain, financially supporting the transfers of Palacios and Pastas Gallo groups.
With these two new investments, the Cerea Dette II Fund totals 3
investments in the Spanish territory, in line with its international expansion.
two investments also form the 9th and 10th private debt investments
of Cerea Partners since the beginning of the year.
Dette II financially supports the Spanish fund MCH in the buyout of the Palacios group from Carlyle
Founded in [...]
The transaction was finalised on 30th September
Krampouz specialises in designing, manufacturing and
marketing high-end ready to use catering appliances.
Major specialist for professional crepe makers and
waffle makers, the company is also a well-known player in the outdoor catering equipment
sector (stainless steel plancha, etc.)
Products are marketed to catering professionals at 55%
gross revenue, the private and public sector at 45%, in France at 69% and export
Deeply rooted in Brittany, [...]