Wessanen acquired for 885 million euros

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Wessanen has been acquired by a syndicate of investors led by French group PAI Partners. The French were willing to spend 885 million euros on the Dutch natural nutrition specialist.


Several attempts

A group of investors led by PAI Partners is buying Dutch natural food producer Wessanen for 11.5 euros per share. The total cost of the takeover comes down to 885 million euros according to Belgian newspaper De Tijd.

This brings an end to months of negotiations: the syndicate's interest became clear back in February, but the Dutch rejected the initial offer. The proposition was reviewed several times until the current offer was made, which was finally accepted by Wessanen.

According to ABN Amro, the acquirers could still have increased their offer. All that remains to be done is receiving the blessing of the competition watchdog. 


No operational changes

With a portfolio in excess of 12 billion euros, PAI Partners is one of Europe's most important investment companies. American Charles Jobson, one of Wessanen's biggest current stockholders, is one of the people behind this takeover. He already had an interest of more than 25% in the Dutch group and has now joined the syndicate as well.

At the operational level, things should remain more or less the same for the food manufacturer in the near future. The acquirers say they support the current management and the head office will remain in Amsterdam. There will be no dismissals or restructurings in the foreseen future. Christophe Barnouin, CEO of PAI, says the Wessanen takeover should consolidate its leading position in the natural food industry.

In addition, Wessanen just released its quarterly figures: the first quarter of 2019 saw an organic drop of 3.2%. The total turnover even decreased by 4.1% down to 159.8 million euros, but the company result did improve.