EMZ SUCCESSFULLY EXITS ITS STAKE IN CONSUMER SPICE BRAND ANKERKRAUT TO NESTLÉ
- The sale to Nestlé marks the debut exit of EMZ’s Munich office.
- During EMZ’s holding period of just over 20 months the company experienced strong growth in revenue and brand awareness.
- The founders and the management team will remain significant shareholders under Nestlé’s ownership.
EMZ Partners (“EMZ”), a leading European investment firm has sold its shareholding in the Hamburg-based spice manufacturer, Ankerkraut (“the company”), to Swiss food conglomerate, Nestlé. The sale to Nestlé marks the debut exit of EMZ’s Munich office and returns well over 2.0x MoM in less than two years. The transaction is subject to antitrust clearance, and parties agreed not to disclose terms.
Founded in 2013, Ankerkraut’s innovative spice mixes have rapidly transformed the company into a well-recognised “Love Brand” and the #1 challenger in the DACH spice market. Ankerkraut has a strong focus on sustainability, which is reflected both in its products and packaging. The company’s spice mixes have no artificial additives and it is expanding its range of organic options. Glass bottles with caps made from cork instead of plastic make their packaging fully recyclable. Originally a digital-first company, it has developed into an omni-channel expert with roughly half of its revenues generated online and the remainder from brick-and-mortar retail.
EMZ invested into Ankerkraut in September 2020 alongside the founder and the management team. The company grew rapidly during EMZ’s holding period into one of the leading spice brands in the DACH region.
“Ankerkraut has been a fantastic investment for EMZ and sits at the core of our strategy of investing alongside committed founders and management teams”, says Klaus Maurer, Partner at EMZ. “We are glad to see that our mutual efforts to grow Ankerkraut into a leading consumer brand materialised and thank the entire team for their great work”, adds Guntram Kieferle, Director at EMZ.
The new partnership with Nestlé seeks to combine Ankerkraut’s direct-to-consumer and omni-channel knowhow with the deep resources and international distribution network of the Nestlé universe.
“Our partnership with EMZ saw Ankerkraut go from strength to strength, and we thank the team for their support. We are extremely proud to have Nestlé on board as a strategic partner and are very enthusiastic about our mutual goal to bring Ankerkraut to the next level.”, says Ankerkraut founder Stefan Lemcke.
“I’m delighted to welcome the Ankerkraut team to the Nestlé family. We are convinced that we can learn much from each other and bring together the best of both worlds, particularly in such areas as brand building, leveraging trends and innovation as well as how a portfolio can be grown successfully”, comments Marc Boersch, CEO Nestlé Germany.
EMZ was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Latham & Watkins, Deloitte, and Munich Strategy Group.
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EMZ is a leading European investment firm acting as a partner for medium-sized companies. Its activities focus on backing founders, family shareholders, and management teams from its offices in Paris and Munich. EMZ is an independent firm, owned by its employees, and has a base of European institutional investors. Its current EMZ 9 fund exceeds €1.0 billion in size with investments tickets ranging from €25 to €150 million per transaction.