Valeo Foods Group acquires Canada’s Les Industries Bernard & Fils Ltd

Transaction will add a further €95 million to Valeo Foods’ revenues

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3 May 2022 | 0

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Valeo Foods Group, the owner of brand leaders Rowse honey, Kettle crisps and Jacob’s biscuits, has acquired Canada-based Les Industries Bernard & Fils Ltd from Phoenix Partners, a Montreal-based private equity group focused on acquiring controlling interests in traditional and mid-market businesses.

The transaction expands Valeo Foods’ existing presence in the maple syrup category with the Buckwud brand and represents the group’s first acquisition in North America, further expanding its global footprint and building on its strong presence in the UK, Ireland and across mainland Europe.

Bernard is one of the world’s leading processors of maple syrup, a natural healthy sweetener that is non-GMO, gluten free and contains high concentrations of minerals and antioxidants.

The founders of the company, the Bernard family, have been producing pure maple syrup in Canada since the 1800s. Based in the Province of Quebec, the heart of the world’s maple syrup harvesting region, and operating from a modern 85,000 sq. ft. facility, the company is the number one independent processor and distributor of maple syrup globally and will continue to be led by the fifth-generation of the Bernard family.

Bernard is an exclusive food partner to many of the world’s leading retailers and its high quality, independently accredited products are sold in more than 40 countries around the world with primary distribution in the USA and Canada.

Valeo Foods will look to leverage the group’s existing global supply chain and major food retailer relationships to accelerate Bernard’s international growth.

Since its formation in 2010, Valeo Foods, a portfolio company of Bain Capital, has expanded rapidly to create a major international food business.

The group’s products, which are sold in over 106 countries around the world, include numerous heritage brand leaders in key growth categories like snacking & sweet treats, confectionery, health & wellness, beverages & agency, baking & meal ingredients and food service.

“Bernard is a great business, led by a very experienced and passionate team and its acquisition further enhances our growing portfolio of family-favourite food brands and products,” said Seamus Kearney, group CEO, Valeo Foods.

“We are delighted that the Bernard family will continue to retain very strong involvement in the running of the business,” he added. “Valeo Foods is on a journey to becoming a leading global food business and we remain focussed on growing our operations organically and through further acquisitions.”

Martin Bernard said the business was delighted to be joining Valeo Foods.

“Our people have unrivalled industry experience and expertise and coupled with our expanded processing facilities, we are very well positioned to move to the next exciting growth phase in our long and successful history,” he said. “Today’s announcement is good news for our employees, farmer-growers, customers, consumers and the local communities in which we are based.”

François Fauteux, managing partner at Phoenix Partners, said that after significantly progressing over the course of its partnership. Bernard is “now poised to accelerate its growth overseas”.

“That’s why we firmly believe that Valeo Foods is the perfect acquirer for Bernard,” he said. “We wish them all the best for this exciting next phase of development.”

Valeo Foods was advised by Bain & Co (Commercial), RBC Capital Markets (M&A), PwC (Financial/Tax) and Baker McKenzie (Legal).

 

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