GED Capital acquires majority stake in Levaduramadre

GED Capital, a private equity group specialised in the Iberian lower mid-market segment, has acquired a majority stake in the artisan bakery chain Levaduramadre. GED Capital's investment has been made through its portfolio company Comess Group, a restaurant group that manages a network of 380 establishments under its brands: Lizarran (pinchos tavern), Pomodoro (Italian restaurants), Cantina Mariachi (Mexican restaurants), DonG (Spanish fast food), Casa García (traditional Spanish bar) and others. Apart from GED Capital, Oquendo Capital and Manuel Robledo are also shareholders in Comess Group. 

Founded in 2006, Levaduramadre is a chain specialised in the gourmet bakery and patisserie sector that sells in Madrid daily baked goods from its own bakery using its original recipes.   

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, in the last 12 months Levaduramadre has doubled its network of shops in the capital, from 30 to 60 stores, proving that, as in previous crises, the franchise model is more resistant and resilient. Franchises have an important advantage over the competition, which is their proven business profitability, their ability to know its customers and suppliers very well, to look for new products and value-added services, as well as to adapt the premises and facilities to new situations due to its flexibility when it comes to making strategic decisions. In addition, the Levaduramadre model has great flexibility and independence from third parties by having its own bakery which makes its products and serves its shops on a daily basis. 

Comess Group will support Levaduramadre with its network of contacts and experience in the sector, supporting the chain in its expansion throughout Spain. Levaduramadre’s objective is to reach at least 180 establishments in the next few years, tripling its current size. As part of the agreement with Comess Group, Levaduramadre's current partners will maintain a stake in the company's capital and will remain involved in its daily management, showing a clear commitment to continue driving the growth of the brand and allowing Comess Group to benefit in the future from its extensive expertise and knowledge of the gourmet bakery and patisserie business. 

This is Comess Group's second acquisition since GED invested in the group in December 2020 through a capital increase, an operation that was aimed at acquiring a majority stake in the Italian franchise group Pomodoro. Since then, Comess Group has almost doubled its network of franchisees, going from 200 to the current 380 in less than seven months, surpassing the plans that the company had set itself when GED became a shareholder. 

The aforementioned strategy of integrating all the brands under the same Group, which is very similar and based on a franchise model, allows to search for synergies, mainly due to the possibility of gaining a greater volume of activity and income and, therefore, negotiating better conditions with suppliers in the purchase of products and raw materials. 

GED acquired a majority stake in Comess Group through its GED VI Fund, a EUR175 million investment vehicle that also holds portfolio companies such as Araven (industrial), Evidenze (health) and Aire (industrial services). GED VI Spain continues with the same strategy as its predecessor fund, with investments of between EUR 15 and 20 million in companies with an EBITDA of EUR3 to 7 million. The fund expects to make between eigth and 10 deals in industrial and medium-sized B2B service companies with high growth potential. 

Enrique Centelles Satrústegui, Managing Partner of GED, says: "Comess Group is another example of the buy & build strategy in which GED is an expert, where we invest in lower mid-market companies to turn them into relevant players in their market through sector consolidation. We believe that franchise concepts such as the brands owned by Comess will experience a faster recovery than non-organised restaurants". 

Manuel Robledo, Chairman of Comess Group, says: "With the integration of Levaduramadre we are taking a new step towards making Comess the undisputed leader in the organised franchise sector in our country. We will use our financial and management capacity to support the company so that it can replicate nationwide the great success it has achieved in Madrid". 

Moncho López, partner of Levaduramadre, says: "With the integration in the Comess Group, the company will be further strengthened. Comess Group will provide Levaduramadre with the expertise of expanding franchises, and Levaduramadre will bring the capacity of managing small gourmet bakeries and the experience of years manufacturing their products for their 60 stores". 

Iñaky de la Cuesta, partner of Levaduramadre, says: "We are convinced that this union will make Levaduramadre an even better brand, and will help us to grow successfully outside Madrid. Hand in hand with Comess Group, we will make Levaduramadre an increasingly solid company, which will be better prepared to face with guarantees any future challenges that Levaduramadre may have ahead".