Baring Central European Fund has made the first of its expected two exits from its fund this year. The realisation is of Topway Foods International, which represents one third of the 1999 investment in Topway Industries SA, Topway Foods International’s parent company. Baring Central European Fund still owns the Topway Industries SA business, which operates large, modern crushing and refining units with a hydrogenation plant, and the Topway Asset Management SA business, which owns Ultex, one of Romania’s largest and most flexible oil seed crushers.
Topway Foods International was sold to Orkla Foods AS, a subsidiary of the Norwegian diversified multinational Orkla ASA. Terms were not disclosed, although Baring Central European Fund is content with the performance of its investment.
The Topway transaction was sourced in the summer of 1999 by Baring Central European Fund’s Romanian office and the fund invested alongside a group of eight entrepreneurs, all of which have exited their interest in the business.
Gyuri Karady of the firm notes that conditions are stable and positive for investment both by corporates and private equity firms in the Central European accession countries. Baring Central European Fund will open an office, under Karady’s direction, in Budapest towards the end of this year. Karady will work between Budapest and London.