French agricultural cooperative group InVivo Group (www.invivogroup.com) intends to buy a 100% share in the Dutch-based Baarsma Wine Group (www.baarsma.com). The company has reached an agreement to this effect with Baarsma Wine Group’s current shareholders, private equity firm AAC Capital Partners, and the management. Over the next few years, InVivo Group wishes to grow its international wine activities both autonomously and through acquisitions. The intended acquisition will be submitted for approval by the Competition authority. Neither company is disclosing financial details of the transaction.
InVivo Group, with an annual turnover of €6.4 billion and 9,200 employees, has a presence in 31 countries across the globe. Its activities are concentrated within four divisions: Agriculture, Animal Nutrition and Health, Retail and Wine. The wine division, InVivo Wine, already has stakes in various French wine companies and commercial activities in Asia and North America. Representing an annual turnover of approximately €348 million, the focus is on the production and bottling of wines and the market representation of over 23 cooperatives (3500 wine makers). Vinadeis (www.vinadeis.fr), as part to its wine division, has bottling and packaging facilities for wines that, under various brand names, mainly reach the French domestic market. Cordier is developing an outstanding range from Bordeaux with a modern approach and Mestrezat is specialised in Grands Crus wines.
The Dutch-based Baarsma Wine Group is a European leader in wine imports and distribution. The group has an annual revenue of approximately €210 million, 250 fulltime employees and is active in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Switzerland and South Africa. The strength of the company lies in marketing wines nationally and internationally to retail, the hospitality and foodservice sector, specialist stores and in some countries directly to consumers. The product portfolio includes wines of internationally renowned and successful wineries, own brands and private label wines for supermarkets and foodservice companies. In addition to sourcing, distribution, sales and marketing, Baarsma Wine Group also runs its own bottling facility in Zaandam, the Netherlands, and produces and bottles some of its wines in Switzerland and South Africa.
Commenting on the intended acquisition, Mr Bertrand Girard, Managing Director of InVivo Wine, said: ‘InVivo Wine’s strategy is to accelerate its development internationally so as to build access to markets and create added value for the wine industry from grapes to consumers. Baarsma will be a key distribution platform for InVivo Wine in Europe and will perfectly complement existing footholds and those currently in development within the group, especially in Asia and North America. With Baarsma, 80% of InVivo Wine’s current operations will be international, aiming to achieve a turnover of 500 million euros by 2020 on the international scene.’
Mr Cees de Rade, Managing Director of Baarsma Wine Group, looks forward to working with the new shareholder: ‘This acquisition is good news for our people in the first place. We think that Baarsma Wine Group stands to benefit from bringing on board a strategic shareholder who shares our international ambitions. InVivo Wine and Baarsma Wine Group complement each other well in the wine supply chain. Our joint growth plans are very ambitious. However, with our existing suppliers and customers it will mostly be business as usual.’
InVivo Wine and Baarsma Wine Group , subsidiaries included, will continue to operate autonomously and under their own names. There will not be an organisational merger. In the years to come, the expansion outside of France will be driven mainly from the Netherlands, with a leading role for the management of Baarsma Wine Group. Mr Cees de Rade (CEO) and Mr Ed van der Sluijs (CFO), will also become members of InVivo Wine’s Executive Committee, chaired by Bertrand Girard.
Both companies expect to complete the acquisition by early summer.