On Wednesday (10 April) Wessanen announced a conditional agreement on a recommended all-cash public offer by a consortium of PAI Partners SAS and Charles Jobson of €11.50 per issued and outstanding share of the healthy food company.
Representing a total consideration of around €885 million, the deal follows news in March that Wessanen – which owns a number of healthy, organic and sustainable food brands including UK brands Whole Earth, Kallo, Clipper Teas and Mrs Crimble’s – was in discussions about a possible cash offer.
The proposed transaction has been supported and recommended by Wessanen’s executive board and supervisory board, and existing shareholders are being urged to accept the takeover bid.
Our vision is to build a European leader in organic and sustainable food. We want to remain at the forefront of making food healthier and more sustainable for the benefit of both consumers and the planet. This requires a long-term commitment from shareholders and long-term investments.
Wessanen says it “welcomes the prospect of the longer-term horizon and stability under the ownership of the consortium, expanding its position in organic foods and preserving its sustainable character, which will benefit all stakeholders”.
Commenting on the takeover, Christophe Barnouin, CEO of Wessanen (pictured left), said: “Our vision is to build a European leader in organic and sustainable food. We want to remain at the forefront of making food healthier and more sustainable for the benefit of both consumers and the planet. This requires a long-term commitment from shareholders and long-term investments. It is all the more critical in an era where organic, sustainable and healthy themes have grown increasingly popular, which in turn has resulted in a more competitive landscape.
“PAI and Charles Jobson are fully supportive of our strategy and will bring a longer-term horizon and additional investments supporting the execution of our plans. We believe that for our existing shareholders, the offer represents an attractive price. Taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, the Boards consider the offer to be in the best interest of Wessanen and we therefore fully support and recommend the offer.”
We intend to accelerate Wessanen’s growth using our experience in the food and consumer space and investing further in the brands and the people of Wessanen to increase the reach of the company
“Wessanen is extremely well positioned in the European health food industry, housing high-quality brands and being at the forefront on innovation in this rapidly growing sector,” adds Gaëlle d’Engremont, partner at PAI Partners. “We intend to accelerate Wessanen’s growth using our experience in the food and consumer space and investing further in the brands and the people of Wessanen to increase the reach of the company.
“We are fully committed to Wessanen’s current strategy and are excited to work alongside their passionate management team and long-time shareholder Charles Jobson. Together we can support the company to further build on its position as a leading sustainable and healthy food company in Europe, fully engaged with its customers on a daily basis.”
The existing rights and benefits of Wessanen employees will be respected, say the companies, and the transaction will not have a direct impact on the total workforce. Wessanen headquarters will remain in Amsterdam.