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Funds advised by Motion Equity Partner support Diana in its ambitious external growth strategy. The Group closed its fourth operation in less than 6 months

Funds advised by Motion Equity Partner support Diana in its ambitious external growth strategy. The Group closed its fourth operation in less than 6 months

28 November 2012

Funds advised by Motion Equity Partners, an independent mid-market European private equity firm and shareholder of Diana since 2004, are pleased to announce the acquisition of Guivaudan’s vegetables, wines and vinegars extracts range by the latter, a leading global natural ingredients supplier for the pet food and food & beverage industries.

This operation represents the Group’s fourth transaction since June. It follows the acquisition of the American Pacific Pure-Aid and the French Arômes de Chassé, as well as the creation of a new AquaSea site in Equador.

In parallel, Funds advised by Motion Equity Partners recently successfully supported Diana in its $ 63.5 million fund raise in PIK notes from two Mezzanine lenders.

Olivier Caix, Diana’s CEO, said : “Since its inception, Diana has been actively involved in fast-growing markets and has continued to perform strongly. We have implemented an ambitious acquisition strategy, notably in the food ingredients sector, which remains very fragmented. Thanks to the support of our shareholders, we have been able to close four acquisitions since June, which clearly positions us as a world leader in natural solutions for the agro-food industry. We will now look for additional build-up opportunities.”

Patrick Eisenchteter, Managing Partner at Motion Equity Partners, added : “As for all of our portfolio companies, helping Diana to grow through acquisitions is a key part of the value creation strategy. The additional equity from Motion Fund, and the set up of a pik note, gave the Group the required resources to seize those unique opportunities. They bring core competencies in areas of strong development for Diana, and will further contribute to the continued excellent organic performance of the business.”

Deals Overview:

Pacific Pure-Aid: This operation enables Diana to extend its range of natural taste solutions, set up operations in North America and strengthen its expertise in formulation. Founded in 1909, Pacific Pure Aid is located in the town of Silverton, Oregon (US). Up until now, the company had been held as a 50/50 joint venture by Givaudan, world leader in flavours and fragrances, and Myron Root & Company Inc. Using natural vegetables as raw materials, Pacific Pure Aid manufactures and sells vegetables extracts and concentrates for various applications in the agri-food industry such as ready meals, soups, sauces, cereals and snacks. Pacific Pure Aid has a permanent team of 30 people and generated a turnover of more than $10 million in 2011, up 14% compared with 2010. The entry of Pacific Pure Aid into the group allows Diana to accelerate its development in North America with an industrial presence and a sourcing in local high quality raw materials, completing its range of natural culinary solutions.

Arômes de Chacé: Founded in 2005 and based in the Loire Valley, ADC was a 50/50 joint venture between Diana and Chaucer Foods. The company produces high quality mushroom extracts (concentrates and powders) for different applications in the agri-food industry. ADC’s inclusion in the Group allows Diana to reinforce its expertise in natural solutions dedicated to emphasising the taste and texture of food and adding the intense flavour of mushroom. This is helping Diana to develop its capacity to meet its customers’ needs by combining excellent control of high quality product sourcing and the development of new solutions. This acquisition strengthens the position of the group as the market’s key player in sensorial and nutritional performance.

Ecuaprotein: The creation of this new AquaSea site in Ecuador in association with an upstream integrated partner allows Diana to strengthen its position on the market of the natural functional extracts coming from the marine stream. The new company, named Ecuaprotein, will produce functional extracts from shrimps Litopenaeus Vannamei, bringing a health-nutrition benefit to the aquaculture, Pet Food and Food markets. After the establishment of AquaSea Costa Rica in 2011, the creation of the new entity represents a new step in the strategy of the Group towards a continuous strengthening of its marine stream, by optimizing a high-quality local sourcing. The Diana Group will be the majority shareholder of the new company.

Givaudan (vegetables, wines and vinegars extracts range): This segment is made of vegetables, wines and vinegars extracts used for their flavouring functionality and dedicated to the food industry players. Diana used to manufacture these products on behalf of Guivaudan. The acquisition of the commercialisation of these natural flavouring foodstuffs will allow the Company to be more attentive to its customers’ demands and better serve their needs, while answering market trends toward more naturality. Besides, the full integration of the value chain, from the raw materials sourcing to the tailor-made solution for its customers, gives Diana an undisputable leading position on this market but also a unique innovation capacity to improve the quality and the culinary performance of its products for the customers benefit, while ensuring a full traceability and excellent competitiveness. This business achieved around € 10 million of sales in 2011.

PIK financing line:

The $ 63.5 million recently raised from two selected Mezzanine lenders, JP Morgan Mezz and Mezzvest, which add-up to the funds injected by Motion Equity Partners and Axa Private Equity in 2010, allowed Diana to secure the financing of these operations and should enable the Group to continue implementing its external growth strategy in the coming months. Several high potential projects are in the pipeline.