PE-backed Findus sold to Nomad for £500m

Having just recently bought Iglo from Permira for €2.6bn, Nomad's continuing to expand its European frozen food holdings.

Private equity-backed frozen food group Findus is selling its continental European operations to Nomad Foods for £500 million ($782 million; €705 million).

The company is backed by private equity firms Highbridge Principal Strategies, Lion Capital, and Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s private debt arm. Lion bought Findus in 2008 for £1.1 billion.

Nomad will buy Findus’ businesses in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, France, Spain and Belgium. Young’s Seafood in the UK is not part of the deal.

Nomad is a listed acquisition vehicle set up by Noam Gottesman, co-founder of hedge fund GLG, and Martin Franklin, founder of consumer products corporation Jarden. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in April this year, raising approximately $500 million.

The vehicle then bought Iglo from Permira for €2.6 billion in June. Iglo has brands across the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, France, Russia and Hungary. Nomad already owns Findus’ Italian arm and said the transaction creates ‘a pan-European food business’.

According to Nomad, the £500 million Findus deal includes a £400 million cash portion, which will be funded through a combination of Nomad’s cash in hand and debt. Nomad will also issue about 8.4 million ordinary shares to LionGem. The vehicle said in a statement that it plans to seek further debt funding from UBS, Credit Suisse and Barclays to finance the deal.

“While the operations we are acquiring are strong, attractive assets on their own, combining them with our existing businesses creates a unique value proposition and unlocks new growth opportunities,” Stéfan Descheemaeker, Nomad’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The Findus name is well-loved and iconic across the European continent, and having the businesses under one umbrella brings together two talented, world-class teams, enabling us to share best practices and to elevate and evolve the brand as we bring an even greater choice of products to consumers.”