Family office Creadev eyes food-related investments

  • Creadev to focus on opportunities related to sustainability
  • Also exploring “next-gen commerce,’ says Deschamps
  • Creadev invests long-term capital for the Mulliez family

Creadev is preparing its evergreen fund for investments in the food sector, Managing Director Delphine Descamps said at Buyouts Insider’s Family Office Connect conference in New York on Oct. 23.

The firm, an evergreen fund that invests the assets of the French Mulliez family, is organizing a new industry vertical to add to its existing platform, which includes companies focused on digital transformation, education technology, healthcare, renewable energy and innovative retail.

“There’s a huge problem of: How are we going to feed the planet in a number of years?” she said, adding that Mulliez family members have expressed interest in opportunities relating to the elimination of food waste and healthy eating. “The family really wants to get into that space.”

As a sector, food-related industries include everything from traditional consumer retail to distribution and/or branding businesses, Descamps said. The firm’s portfolio already includes Fields, an online grocery retailer in China.

Creadev recently opened a New York office to go along with its branches in Paris and Shanghai. In addition to its new food vertical, Creadev is also exploring investments in what Descamps called “next-gen commerce,” citing as an example a clothing-rental business her team had recently looked at.

“We were looking at a company that sends you boxes and you rent clothes,” she said. “When you rent, instead of buying, people start thinking, ‘why do I need to buy when I could rent?’”

Because of its evergreen structure, and the fact that its investors all come from the same family, Creadev’s investments tend to have longer hold periods than traditional private equity funds. Its initial investments in a company tend to be sized between $5 million and $50 million.

The Mulliez family made its fortune in retail — Bloomberg dubbed patriarch Gérard Mulliez “the French Sam Walton” in 2009.

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Creadev Managing Director Delphine Descamps addresses Buyouts Insider’s Family Office Connect conference in New York on Oct. 23. Photo by Robert Daniel, Buyouts.