The dealmakers that advised on Bain's acquisition of Valeo Foods

19 May 2021 3 min. read

Irish food business Valeo Foods Group has been acquired by Bain Capital, in a deal that is estimated to be around £1.5 billion. The deal was advised upon by 10 professional services firms.

Established in 2010, Dublin headquartered Valeo is a producer and innovator of branded and private-label food products. Operating across Europe, a continuing acquisition campaign has seen Valeo’s portfolio grow to include household names such as Jacobs, Rowse, Kettle, Odlums, Barratt, and Balconi – many of which have histories that stretch back as far as 150 years.

As a result, Valeo enjoyed net sales of approximately €1.1 billion for the 12 months through to March 2021, serving 106 markets globally, producing more than 400,000 tonnes of goods across its 24 manufacturing facilities every year, and employing more than 4,000 staff. Looking to build on this early momentum during its second decade in business, Valeo has secured a huge investment from Bain Capital.

Valeo Foods - Bain Capital

Estimated at a value of around £1.5 billion, the deal sees private equity firm CapVest Partners exit the conglomerate it spent the last 11 years building. The move represents a culmination of CapVest’s strategy to build a major international food business through a combination of strategic investment, innovation and complementary acquisitions of businesses and brands in categories with stable demand characteristics.

The move came about after CapVest and Valeo worked with Goldman Sachs to find a strategic or financial partner. That search determined that Bain Capital was best fit, before the sell-side team worked with a number of professional services firms to close the deal. In this respect, EY-Parthenon provided commercial due diligence services to Valeo, while KPMG supplied financial due diligence services, PwC worked on tax due diligence and structuring services, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher gave legal advice.

On the buy-side meanwhile, Bain Capital received financial advice from Credit Suisse and Houlihan Lokey. It was also given commercial and strategy due diligence services during the deal by OC&C Strategy Consultants, while AlixPartners provided operations and IT due diligence services, PwC supplied financial due diligence, tax and structuring services, and Weil Gotshal & Manges offered legal advice.

Jason Rodrigues, a Partner at CapVest, stated, “It has been a great partnership with an exceptional leadership team led by Seamus Kearney. Together they have created a high-performing and growing leader in ambient foods. We look forward to seeing Valeo Foods continue to flourish under Bain Capital’s ownership.”

The news comes shortly after Bain Capital agreed to purchase Dessert Holdings, a North American premium dessert company – and looking ahead, Valeo hopes that Bain Capital’s deep knowledge of innovation and investment in the food and grocery sectors will help it accelerate the growth of its business and headcount. Following the acquisition, Valeo Foods CEO Seamus Kearney will continue to lead the business with the existing management team.

Kearney remarked, “This transaction is a very positive reflection of the quality of our business and all of our people… We are very excited to work alongside the Bain Capital team as we continue our journey and pursue our ambitious plans for further growth in the future.” 

Nigel Walder, a Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity, added, “Valeo Foods has been developed into a key player in the European food industry by a talented and ambitious team. We believe Valeo has further potential to grow significantly, both organically and through acquisitions, and look forward to partnering with Seamus and his team to accelerate that growth trajectory and further consolidate the Company’s position as a leading international food business.”