Investment in leading global berry supplier to capitalise on growth in health and wellness segment
International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Planasa (‘the Group’), a leading global operator in the agri-food sector, for a consideration of approximately €450 million. Planasa specialises in plant research, nursery and fresh produce.  Alexandre Darbonne, CEO and current owner of the company, will continue to hold a significant shareholding.
Headquartered in Valtierra, Spain, Planasa is one of the leading plant variety and nursery operators within the berry fruit category worldwide. The Group provides seeds, plants and R&D services to farmers, and fresh produce to retailers across the world. Planasa has benefitted from strong growth in its end-markets, underpinned by broader consumer health and wellness trends and a rise in global berry consumption. With 2,080 employees worldwide, Planasa supplies customers globally from its 12 production sites across Europe, the Americas and Asia.  
Cinven’s Consumer and Iberia teams identified Planasa as an attractive investment opportunity, given: 
  • Berries represent an attractive growth category globally, driven by underlying health and wellness trends in consumer diets, together with an increase in demand for convenience; 
  • Planasa is a market-leading player with a strong reputation for developing value-added products through investment in R&D. Planasa has a proven track record of developing high quality breeds, such as the Adelita Raspberry, and strong technical capabilities which provide support services to farmers and retailers;
  • Attractive growth prospects, with international expansion opportunities in geographies such as Mexico and China, together with an attractive pipeline of new product categories; 
  • Fragmented market with potential for consolidation through buy and build, with the Group having successfully acquired and integrated three acquisitions in the past five years;
  • Strong management team, led by owner and CEO, Alexandre Darbonne, with potential to further strengthen the team following five generations of family ownership; and
  • Strong track record of financial performance, with double-digit annualised revenue and profit growth over the past five years.
Jorge Quemada, Partner at Cinven, commented: 
“Having mapped the Iberian market closely, we proactively identified Planasa together with our Consumer team, given its focus on the health and wellness sector. Our Iberian team was able to build a good relationship with Planasa’s owner and CEO to execute this primary investment.  We are fully aligned with the highly capable and experienced team at Planasa on our vision for the Group and focused on creating a strong platform for further international growth.”
Maxim Crewe, Partner at Cinven, added:
“Planasa is well positioned to benefit from the strong growth in global berry consumption, underpinned by consumer trends in health and wellness, as well as snacking and convenience. Planasa is a leading player in the industry with strong R&D capabilities, global operations and excellent revenue and EBITDA growth.  It is a value-added partner to both farmers and customers, delivering products with higher agronomic performance through improved yields and resistance to diseases, as well as improved taste.”  
CEO of Planasa, Alexandre Darbonne, said:
“Planasa grows proprietary varieties of species, particularly berries, from its own production sites located across EMEA, Asia and the Americas; we have a world class R&D function, as well as facilities for growing, packaging and distributing our products.
“We are delighted that Cinven is partnering with us to further internationalise and professionalise our operations, as well as enabling us to expand into new areas of business through continued investment in R&D.  The combination of its experienced team and Consumer expertise makes them an excellent partner for the business. Planasa is set to benefit from significant growth in the coming years, both organically as well as through further add-on acquisitions, and we look forward to working with Cinven and benefiting from their expertise in these areas.”
Completion of the acquisition of Planasa is subject to customary regulatory approvals.