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Montagu Private Equity to acquire St Hubert

Pan-Euopean private equity investor Montagu Private Equity is to acquire St Hubert alongside the comany’s existing management team from Dairy Crest Group plc, for a consideration of USD430m in cash. St Hubert is a leading producer of standard and low fat spreads in France and Italy.

Founded over 100 years ago, St Hubert is one of the leaders in the spreads market. It achieved over €130m sales and produced circa 35,000t of standard, low fat and innovative spreads in the year ended March 2012. Headquartered near Paris, St Hubert has its original production site near Nancy (Lorraine) and derives a material part of its sales from its Italian affiliate. St Hubert employs over 200 people and markets such brands as St Hubert and Le Fleurier in France, and Valle’ in Italy. St Hubert has a clear focus on innovation, which resulted in the launch over the past ten years of highly successful products such as St Hubert Oméga 3, St Hubert Bio and 5 Céréales.
Sylvain Berger-Duquene (pictured), Director of Montagu Private Equity, says: “We are very proud to partner with the managers of St Hubert in the acquisition of the company. St Hubert fulfils all of Montagu’s investment criteria. It is a market leader, with a steady organic growth record, fuelled by an ambitious innovation strategy and led by an outstanding management team.
We look forward to investing in the business and supporting Patrick Cahuzac and his team in their development plans for St Hubert, including via acquisitions, both in France and abroad.”
Patrick Cahuzac, CEO of St Hubert, says: “We have found in Montagu a seasoned and ambitious European partner whose investment philosophy and pan-European presence will allow us to accelerate our development strategy.  We look forward to working with Montagu over the coming years to further invest and grow St Hubert.”
Any decision by Dairy Crest Group plc to proceed with the transaction is subject to French Works Council consultation.  In addition, completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of Dairy Crest’s shareholders, satisfactory clearance from the French competition authorities and financing consents.
Lazard acted as exclusive financial adviser to Montagu on this transaction.

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