Alantra acquires majority stake in Frías Nutrición

The seventh investment from the €450m Alantra Private Equity Fund III will enable the health-food firm to expand internationally and develop its product base.

Spanish-based Alantra Private Equity has made a strategic investment in Frías Nutrición, a Spanish producer of plant-based food and drinks, enabling it to expand into international markets.

The deal, which is expected to close within the next few months after approval by the Spanish competition authorities (CNMC), will mean close to 60 percent of the €450 million Alantra Private Equity Fund III has been deployed, Alantra said.

Almost 50 percent had been previously invested in six assets. Average equity ticket size usually ranges from €35 million to €70 million, with this latest investment fitting into that range, Bruno Delgado, partner at the private equity firm, said.

Delgado told Agri Investor the funds will be used to help the former family business (the family still owns a significant minority stake) expand into international markets and launch new products. With a €60 million turnover, Frías Nutrición makes plant-based food and drinks, including tofu, almond, coconut, rice, oat and soy-based drinks, as an alternative to dairy produce.

“The company is one of the biggest tofu producers and we aim to capitalize on this and develop new tofu-related produce, in line with the growing trend towards plant-based protein consumption,” he said. “From now on, we hope to be able to support them in accelerating growth both domestically and internationally, but always betting on innovation.”

Frías Nutrición’s current management team will remain at the forefront of the business. Chief executive Victor Frías said: “With Alantra’s support, we will have greater resources to face the new projects we have underway and to develop the internationalization plan.”

The private equity firm focuses on the international growth of Spanish and Portuguese upper mid-market companies.

In 2018, PEF III co-invested with private equity firm Artá Capital in frozen bakery company Monbake, alongside Ardian, which created the business from two separate acquisitions.

The fifth investment by the fund in early 2018 was in seafood company Unión Martín, one of Spain’s leaders in the production and marketing of seafood, with a revenue of over €80 million. Alantra also aimed to boost the company’s growth and internationalization plan.

PEF III is one the largest funds raised in the Spanish mid-market, Alantra PE, the private equity division of the investment banking and asset management firm Alantra, said. In addition to commitments from institutional investors, Alantra and the management team have committed 10 percent to PEF III.