Founder Buys Out Rungis with CVC Backing

Georg Kastner, the founder of Rungis Express Group, led a buyout team which bought the company from the German department store chain Metro, with backing from CVC Capital Partners. No value has been disclosed for the December transaction.

Rungis is the market leader for the wholesale delivery of high quality fresh food to gourmet restaurants, hotels, delicatessens and caterers in Germany and Austria. It also operates in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Italy, and has more than 4,000 customers overall. Its 500-strong product range is sourced from more than 60 countries and includes fresh meat, poultry, fish and seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy and beverage products.

Headquartered in Meckenheim, near Bonn, Rungis has satellite operations in Satteldorf, Salzburg and Karlsbad, with around 600 full- and part-time employees in Germany and a further 34 in Austria. Turnover reached DM209 million (ecu 106 million) in the year ended December 1996.

CVC provided a majority of the equity. Georg Kastner, who is supported by finance director Joachim Gerl, formerly of Metro, increased his holding in Rungis from 25% to 40% via the buyout. Senior debt facilities were arranged by IKB Bank, Frankfurt.

Maarten Ruijs of CVC’s Netherlands office, which worked with the German team on the deal, stated that Rungis supplies over 50% of its target restaurants in the German market and has an overall 40% market share. He added “We believe that the company is well positioned to take advantage of further growth opportunities in the eating-out market both in Germany and across Benelux and to expand its operation in the beverage market”. Jakob Forschner of CVC in Germany said that a listing in three to five years is on the cards and added that in the meantime, Rungis’s new owners would be looking for add-on acquisitions in both mainland Europe and the UK.