Cinven, the international private equity firm, today announces that it has reached an agreement to become a shareholder of Barentz (the ’Group’), a global specialty ingredients distributor for the food, pharmaceutical, personal care and animal nutrition markets. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Barentz distributes ingredients and additives for products to small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’) and large customers globally. The Group sources branded specialty ingredients from leading manufacturers worldwide, and its ingredient experts provide value-added technical support (including pre-mixing, blending, ingredient formulation and ingredient testing) from its state-of-the-art production facilities in Europe, North America and Asia.

Established in 1953, Barentz has operations in more than 60 countries with a strong presence in Europe and Asia, and a growing presence in North America and Latin America. Today, the Group employs circa 1,100 people worldwide, sources ingredients from more than 1,000 suppliers and serves more than 15,000 customers.

Cinven’s Business Services and Benelux teams identified Barentz as an attractive investment opportunity, given its:

  • Strong presence in attractive, structurally growing and resilient markets;
  • Value-added proposition to both a large number of ingredient manufacturers and a highly diversified end-customer base;
  • Significant buy and build opportunity in a highly fragmented market. Barentz has a proven track record of executing and integrating acquisitions;
  • Strong historic financial performance and cash generation;
  • Opportunity to accelerate the growth of the business through investment in the Group’s infrastructure as well as R&D capabilities; and
  • Highly experienced management team, led by CEO Hidde van der Wal.

Ben Osnabrug, Partner at Cinven, commented:

Barentz has a strong presence in a structurally growing market. The Cinven team knows the specialty distribution sector well; a number of key trends are driving the growth of the food and life sciences ingredients market, including a shift towards natural ingredients, increased demand for customised formulations, and a growing share of manufacturers using distributors to drive market access and to improve efficiencies.

“Cinven’s investment in Barentz resulted from a combination of our detailed sub-sector approach within Business Services and our regional network in the Netherlands, and we are delighted to invest in this primary opportunity. In particular, Barentz has an excellent management team whom we are backing to pursue both organic and acquisition-led growth.”

Hidde van der Wal, Chief Executive of Barentz, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Cinven on the next phase of our growth. The Cinven team has really impressed us with their understanding of our market and their strong track record of growing businesses internationally. 

“In particular, their investment and support for our business strategy will enable us to expand our operations into new geographic markets, including through acquisition, and will ensure we have the right infrastructure to achieve this.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions including competition clearances.

1602 Capital Partners acted as M&A advisor for Cinven.