EMZ Partners invests in Ankerkraut

EMZ Partners invests in Ankerkraut

Founding family remains majority shareholder, EMZ Partners invests in subordinated debt and becomes minority shareholder. Incumbent minority shareholders incl. Frank Thelen and Matthias Knälmann remain on board. Management re-invests in the new structure.

The European Private-Equity Company EMZ Partners has entered into a binding contract to acquire a stake in Ankerkraut GmbH, headquartered in Jesteburg, south of Hamburg. In addition to EMZ, the Management team of Ankerkraut also becomes a shareholder. The founding family Lemcke remains majority owner of the business and the incumbent minority shareholders Freigeist Capital and Knälmann Ventures stay on board.

Ankerkraut was founded in 2013 and has since become the “Love Brand“ and #1 Challenger in the German spice market. Headquartered in Jesteburg it operates offices and production facilities in Hamburg. The Company develops, produces and sells premium spice mixes, mono-spices, teas, advent calendars, gift sets and plans to expand into sauces in the near future.

Ankerkraut’s products are 100% free of flavour enhancers, preserving agents, artificial colours and other flavours. Next to its conventional segment Ankerkraut offers a broad assortment of organic products which is expected to grow strongly in future.

”We are impressed by the historical development of Ankerkraut and are delighted to become a part of Ankerkraut’s future. The culture of Ankerkraut lived by its founders Stefan and Anne Lemcke as well as the managers Timo Haas and Alexander Schwoch is unique and it is our highest concern to preserve it. We are looking forward to working together with the whole Ankerkraut team and the other shareholders”, says Klaus Maurer, Partner in the Munich office of EMZ.

Stefan Lemcke, founder and CEO of Ankerkraut, adds: ”We are delighted to have attracted EMZ as future partner of Ankerkraut. The collaboration over the past weeks was characterized by fairness and respect and we are convinced that EMZ is the right partner for the successful future development of Ankerkraut“.

Completion is subject to regulatory approval and the terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The investment in Ankerkraut is the first transaction of the German EMZ team around Klaus Maurer and Guntram Kieferle that started only at the beginning of the year.

EMZ was advised by MCF Corporate Finance (M&A), Munich Strategy (Commercial), Latham & Watkins (Legal, Corporate and Structure), Eight Advisory (Financial, Tax and IT), Shearman & Sterling (Legal, Financial) and Lincoln International (Debt).




EMZ is a leading European investment firm that acts as a partner for medium-sized companies. Its activities focus on investments alongside founders, family shareholders and managers. EMZ is majority-owned by its own employees and has a base of European institutional investors. The current fund has a volume of more than 1.0 billion euros and its investment size ranges from 10 to 150 million euros.