DION HERBS & SPICES TAKEN INTO PRIVATE EQUITY HANDS

Quebec-based Dion Herbs & Spices has been acquired by a group of investors led by Montreal-based private equity firm Champlain Financial Corporation for an undisclosed sum.

Dion, a leading herbs and spices seller in Quebec, Canada, is also distributed into more than 1,000 retailers in Canada and the United States. The company was founded by chef Gaston Dion in 1996 when, looking for different flavours and new trends he found only conventional and conservative spice products and decided to develop his own.

Since then the company has created nine product categories covering about 450 product varieties in total that are all gluten free. They include around 150 organic varieties, 15 freeze-dried lines, no-salt products, and more than 50 house blends.

According to Champlain, there will be a leadership succession led by André Fortier, formerly senior vice-president with the Loblaw group of companies; Jean-Francois Bieler, formerly vice-president of operations and general manager of Atoka Cranberries; and by Marie-Andrée Morin-Dion and Samuel Morin-Dion, the founders’ children.

Champlain has a diversified investment portfolio across Canada and the US providing equity capital and growth management expertise mainly for small and mid-sized companies with EBITDAs ranging from $3 million to $10 million. The firm typically aims for an investment time horizon of 5-7 years before exiting.

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