News 342 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Diana Ingredients shifts ownership

Cognetas, an independent mid-market pan-European private equity firm specialising in complex deals has soldDiana Ingredients for €710 million to Axa Private Equity.

Diana Ingredients is based in Vannes, France and a global supplier of natural ingredients to attractive niche markets within the pet food and food and beverage industries.

The group produces palatability enhancers for the pet food industry and natural extracts for the beverage, baby food, savoury and nutraceutical markets.

Diana Ingredients also provides culinary products such as sauces and retextured products used in the meat industries as well as for catering and restaurants.

The group employs over 1,100 people in several countries, including France, Spain, UK, USA, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.

Strong growth
Cognetas backed the original MBO of Diana Ingredients in 2004 in a € 270 million transaction. Since revenues increased from €146 million in 2003 to €253 million in 2006 through organic growth and international expansion of the natural extracts and pet food businesses. These together account for more than 80% of 2006 revenues.

The funds advised by Cognetas continue to believe in the strong growth potential of Diana Ingredients and have decided to reinvest a significant amount in the new transaction, alongside Axa Private Equity.

Buyout firms use a combination of their own funds and debt to pay for takeovers. They then typically seek to expand those companies or improve performance before selling them within five years to other funds or to investors through stock offerings.

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