Mar 01, 2013

Private Equity International firm of the year in Benelux

1. Gilde Equity Management
2. Advent International
3. Waterland

Investing in a bakery business heavily reliant on consumer spending just after a VAT hike may not seem the most obvious thesis. But Gilde Equity Management clearly begs to differ: in October, it acquired Dutch bakery business Pré Pain & Smithuis, reportedly for € 100 million, from Fortis spin-off Neon Private Equity. Altough the consumer spending climate is undoubtedly tough in The Netherlands, the firm believes it has found a market segment that is growing - the demand for luxury bread rolls is apparently rising as supermarkets increasingly compete with independent bakeries.
But Gilde wasn't finished there: it also invested in Belgian glass producer Sovitec and software company BlueCielo. And on the exit front, it completed the sale of Salad Signature, a producer of convenience food that had doubled in size under the firm's ownership (thanks in part to a number of add-on acquisitions, including Johma and Westland) to fellow Benelux firm AAC Capital. Anything but a half-baked year.

Source: Private Equity International Annual Review 2012

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