May 12, 2021

Valeo Foods Group, the Dublin-headquartered company that owns Kettle Chips and Batchelors Beans, has been bought by Bain Capital, the American private investment firm.

Bain’s purchase from London-based CapVest comes after multiple acquisitions by Valeo, which the deal values at more than €1.7 billion, according to reports.

Valeo Foods – the owner of other iconic food brands including Jacob’s – was bought by Bain after it fought off interest from Cinven and PAI Partners.

In little over a decade, Valeo has seen its turnover quintuple from less than €200 million in 2010 – when it was created by CapVest as an investment vehicle to purchase two Irish foods businesses – to €1.1 billion in the year to March 2021.

Valeo has made more than a dozen acquisitions, among them the purchase of Schluckwerder Holding, a German confectionery business, in January.

Now employing more than 4,000 staff, Valeo has 24 manufacturing facilities that produce more than 400,000 tonnes of goods annually.

Seamus Kearney, Valeo’s group CEO, who will remain in the role, said in a statement that the new deal was “a very positive reflection of the quality of our business and all of our people”.

“It is also testament to the passion and commitment that CapVest, our management team and all of our colleagues have shown in continuously delivering best-in-class food products to our customers and consumers across our 106 markets,” he added.

In a statement, Nigel Walder, a managing director at Bain Capital, added that Valeo had become “a key player in the European food industry” and had further potential to grow, both organically and through acquisitions.

Bain Capital is well known even to those with little interest in finance because it was founded by Mitt Romney, the American senator, whose activities with the company were much discussed in the 2012 US presidential campaign. Romney, the Republican nominee, lost out to Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent.

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