Welbilt, Inc., a leading global provider of commercial foodservice equipment, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Avaj International Holding AB (“Crem International” or “Crem”), which is majority owned by private equity firms Priveq Investment Fund IV L.P. and SEB Venture Capital, for total consideration of approximately SEK 1,800 million, or approximately $224 million USD equivalent. The acquisition will be funded through cash on hand and existing credit lines and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to certain closing conditions.
Crem International is a global leading manufacturer of professional coffee machines with more than 50 years of experience in the market and sales in more than 80 countries. Crem is headquartered in Solna, Sweden, and has three manufacturing sites in Åmotfors, Sweden, Gandia, Spain, and Shanghai, China. These plants are supported by three R&D centers and six sales offices. Crem develops, manufactures and markets coffee machines under three brands: Coffee Queen, Expobar and Spengler for use in offices, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, catering and convenience stores. Crem offers the broadest range of professional coffee machines, including manual and automatic espresso and filter coffee machines as well as instant, liquid, freestanding and other machines.
In 2017, Crem International generated sales of approximately SEK 767 million, or approximately $90 million USD equivalent. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings beginning later in 2018 and beyond, with run- rate synergies expected to grow to approximately $10 million by 2020.
“The acquisition of Crem International is the first step in realizing our ambition to complement our organic growth strategy with select bolt-on acquisitions,” says Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, Welbilt’s President and CEO. “Crem expands our full-line of commercial foodservice equipment coverage by adding the fast-growing hot coffee category to our portfolio, which gives Welbilt the broadest portfolio of hot and cold beverage equipment of any company in the market. Crem is very strong in Europe and Asia, supporting our strategic objective of expanding our presence in these two important regions. We foresee significant cross-selling opportunities between Crem’s and Welbilt’s respective customer bases in those regions, and see further opportunity to bring Crem to Welbilt’s customer base in the U.S. and include it as a core offering in our fitkitchen system solutions.”
“We welcome Crem International’s employees into the Welbilt family. We see substantial opportunities going forward in creating a joint team supported by shared company values and a spirit of innovation,” says Muehlhaeuser.
Sebastian Lindstroem, CEO of Crem International says, “We at Crem International are delighted to join forces with Welbilt. Jointly with our shareholders we have built Crem into one of the global leaders in professional coffee machines with a unique breadth of technology and solutions with a highly innovative and competitive product portfolio. Within Welbilt’s strong family of brands and products, we will be able to further expand the reach of our product portfolio through improved market access and our current customers will benefit from Welbilt’s expertise in new product development and manufacturing process improvement.”
The previous majority shareholders, Priveq Investment Fund IV L.P. and SEB Venture Capital, welcome the arrival of Welbilt as new owner and strategic partner for Crem International. Karl-Johan Willén, partner at Priveq Advisory AB, acting in its capacity as Adviser to Priveq G.P. IV Ltd, being the general partner to Priveq Investment Fund IV L.P., says, “We are convinced we have found the best partner in Welbilt for the entrepreneurial future of Crem International. Welbilt has substantial access and experience in relevant markets and maximizes Crem’s potential for future success.”