EQT Acquire Major Bakery Group

Following the September closing of EQT Scandinavia II (story, page 7), EQT Partners in October agreed to acquire 100% of Vaasan Baking from Finland’s Cultor Group in a transaction valued at around FMk 1 billion (ecu 167 million).

The business is one of the leading bakery groups in the Nordic and Baltic areas, producing both fresh bakery goods and frozen ready-to-bake products, and also ranks as the third largest producer of crispbreads worldwide. In addition to its network of 24 local bakeries in Finland, Vaasan owns 75% of Leibur and 51% of Hanzas Maiznica, the leading bakeries in Estonia and Latvia. The company, which has 3,500 employees forecasts FMk 1.3 billion of sales in the current year.

EQT Partners will acquire the business through Vaasan & Vaasan, which will be headed by incumbent Vaasan Baking managing director Matti Lappalainen and chaired by Kaj Forssell, the CEO of Sinebrychoff. EQT views Vaasan as a potential platform for further investments in the consolidating bakery sector in Finland and the Baltic Rim markets. The investment will be split between the SKr 2.9 billion Scandinavian Equity Partners fund, taking it to full investment, and the new SKr 5.7 billion (ecu 600 million) EQT Scandinavia II vehicle.