Largest consumer LBO in CEE

Warsaw-headquartered Enterprise Investors has taken a 43% stake in non-alcoholic beverage company Kofala-Hoop for €127.8m.

The fund made the investment through its Polish Enterprise Fund VI.

The transaction is said to be the largest ever completed in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Kofola Hoop employs upwards of 2,600 people. It is one of the largest drinks makers in Central Europe, operating on the Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Polish markets. The group was established through a merger of Czech soft drinks maker Kofola and Polish drinks producer Hoop.

The CEE region has been largely underexplored by venture capitalists until recently. VCs are continuing to struggle to make investments in Western Europe, and are subsequently looking East for more attractive investment opportunities. In April, UK firm DN Capital explicitly mentioned investing in the region with its €100m fund, and in February GIMV and KBC Private Equity announced they were entering into a partnership agreement for private equity investments in the Russian market.