Ardian: sells its stake in Piz’Wich to Frostkrone

Paris / FR. (ad) Private equity company Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, announced the sale of its minority holding in «Piz’Wich», a specialist manufacturer of on-the-go frozen snack products, to Frostkrone Tiefkühlkost GmbH, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of frozen convenience food and snack products. Frostkrone, located in Rietberg, North Rhine-Westphalia (DE), now holds all shares in Piz’Wich.

Ardian Growth is a key partner for profitable growth companies generating sales of between 10 and 100 million EUR annually. This success is reflected in the team’s recent fundraise of 230 million EUR for its second generation Growth fund.

Ardian Growth purchased a stake in Piz’Wich in December 2016 in order to support the group’s organic growth and accelerate its international expansion, particularly through a global industry partnership strategy. These objectives were quickly achieved, thanks to further product range development and the establishment of strategy agreements with industrial groups. In fact, negotiations initially focused on forming an industry partnership in Germany have eventually led to the Frostkrone acquisition. Frostkrone, which now holds all shares in Piz’Wich, was itself an Ardian Expansion investment until February 2017, when its shares were sold to its current backer, Emeram Capital Partners.

Piz’Wich, located in Bulgnéville near Nancy (FR), was founded in 2001 and has enjoyed continued growth in an evolving and expanding market. Under the direction of Stéphane Delahaye, Piz’Wich rapidly adapted its business model to focus on on-the-go frozen snack products, a niche, high-growth market. As part of this pivot, it created the «Pizza Pocket», a successful and innovative product. With a strong focus on quality and traceability of ingredients, Piz’Wich has responded to the ever-increasing demand for these types of products, and the evolving range of consumer habits while at the same time complying with stringent certification and control requirements.

Stéphane Delahaye, CEO of Piz’Wich, said: «We have seen an intense and productive period since the beginning of our partnership with Ardian, through its investment in Piz’Wich. We have continued to develop our product range, and with the support of Ardian’s extensive network, have identified a number of industry partners worldwide as well as other external expansion targets. We would like to extend our thanks to the Ardian Growth team for their support. We now look forward to benefiting from the synergies with Frostkrone and to pursuing further development in the future».

Frédéric Quéru, Director at Ardian Growth, added: «Piz’Wich has experienced rapid development over the 16 months since our investment. Through our initial investment, we, alongside Stéphane Delahaye, were able to successfully enable Piz’Wich to roll out its strategy. The company generated strong interest from a number of players, but Frostkrone, a recognized industry leader, made it clear early on they were willing to take Piz’Wich to the next level».

Alexis Saada, Managing Director at Ardian Growth, added: «This operation, which is a testament to the high quality of products offered by Piz’Wich, places the company in an optimum position to continue its development. It also reflects our team’s comprehensive approach to high-growth companies and our partnership ethos with entrepreneurs looking for a new stage of development».

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