Deal news round-up

Published: March 24, 2015

Acquisitions and exits from Mid Europa, ACE & Co and Investcorp.

Snapping up snacks

Private equity firm Mid Europa Partners tucks into Serbian food group Danube with its latest deal.

Since snack-maker Bambi started selling its Plazma biscuits in 1968, they’ve grown to be one of the best-known confectionery brands in the former Yugoslavia. Analysts at Euromonitor International, a research firm covering consumer markets, estimate that Plazma accounted for 21% of the Serbian biscuit market in 2013 (competitors had to settle for crumbs).

So it’s no surprise that Danube Foods Group, the company behind Bambi and its brands, has attracted hungry investors. In February Mid Europa Partners, a private equity firm focused on Central Europe, sealed the deal and took a controlling stake in the group for an undisclosed sum.

With revenues of €400mn (US$453mn), Danube is the largest consumer-goods business in the former Yugoslavia. Along with Bambi, its portfolio includes dairy businesses Imlek and Mlekara Subotica, and Knjaz Miloš, Serbia’s leading producer of mineral water. Outside of their core Serbian market these businesses also operate in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

Andrej Babache, a London-based director at Mid Europa Partners who led the deal, says the Danube businesses constitute “a portfolio of crown jewels” for the firm. There had been a number of attempts by rival firms to buy individual businesses or the entire group before, he tells EMEA Finance, and Mid Europa Partners spent

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