Ardian to buy biosecurity specialist

The firm is waiting for regulatory approval to acquire French company Roullier’s food and agricultural hygiene business, Hypred.

Private equity firm Ardian is in exclusive talks to buy French company Roullier’s food and agricultural hygiene subsidiary Hypred for an undisclosed figure.

It is not clear which fund the firm will use to buy the company, although Ardian bought a majority stake in European ingredients provider Solina Group through its €2.8bn Ardian Mid Cap Buyout Fund V in February.

Hypred makes hygiene products for dairy and food processing, cleaning and disinfection products for breeding and animal nutrition. Ardian pointed out in a statement that the company is operating in an increasingly food-safety conscious market.

The firm hopes to speed up Hypred’s international growth by increasing capacity on existing sites, complimentary or bolt-on acquisitions, boosting its R&D activity and breaking into new regions. Hypred already operates in 40 countries, including Brazil, South Africa, the US, Peru, Germany and Turkey.

Ardian Mid Cap Buyout managing director Thibault Basquin said his firm had been tracking Hypred for some time as part of its plans in the biosecurity sector.

“It is a recognised leader in the market, and has strong potential for development,” he said.

“The company operates in a market which has grown significantly, driven by higher safety standards including epidemic prevention, strategies for reducing the use of antibiotics as well as traceability and productivity requirements,” said an Ardian statement.

The deal is subject to approval by France’s competition authorities.

Last year, the British government commissioned a report looking into the use of antibiotics in agriculture that concluded antibiotic use should be cut back in livestock, in particular the use of last-resort drugs also given to humans.

Ardian did not respond to requests for comment on Hypred’s future strategy in time for publication.

Ardian controls $55 billion in assets and has investment strategies including funds of funds, private debt, direct funds, infrastructure, real estate and customised mandate investment solutions. Ardian Mid Cap Buyout Fund V has allocated €400 million to co-investments.