Ardian has announced that it is acquiring Cérélia from the IK VII Fund, advised by IK Investment Partners. Cérélia is a transatlantic provider of bakery solutions with a product portfolio including ready-to-bake pie and pizza dough, pancakes, crepes and cookies. The company’s products provide consumers with a wholesome and convenient baking experience. The management team, led by Guillaume Réveilhac, will own a meaningful stake alongside Ardian.

Headquartered in Paris, Cérélia employs over 1,600 people, operates 12 facilities across Europe and North America, sells its products in more than 50 countries around the world and generates nearly €500 million of revenue. The company traces its roots to Alsacienne de Pâtes Ménagères, which in 2012 merged with Eurodough to form Cérélia. In 2015, the company and IK broadened its strategy through the acquisition of de Bioderij, which extended its product portfolio into pancakes and crepes and launched the company into the North American and Asian markets. Over the past three years, Cérélia also acquired two complementary businesses, English Bay Batter and Bakeaway, to further expand its product portfolio and geographic reach, most notably throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Cérélia has experienced a tremendous track record of growth in Europe due to its focus on quality, impeccable service and new product innovation – including a range of organic, gluten-free and wholesome products – alongside an ambitious, yet thoughtful acquisition strategy. Today, Cérélia holds leadership positions in multiple core European markets and is rapidly building a portfolio of innovative bakery products in North America.

Cérélia has an unwavering commitment to sustainability, utilizing farming practices that promote biodiversity, local production whenever possible and green energy to reduce its carbon footprint. Furthermore, the company’s continued prioritization of innovative production practices and reduction of packaging materials will support the growth of disruptive new product opportunities.

Guillaume Réveilhac, founder and CEO of Cérélia, said: “The Cérélia team is delighted to begin this new chapter in the company's development, and we thank the IK team for their support and guidance over the last five years. Together we have dramatically grown Cérélia to become a leader in the European bakery segment. We are excited to partner with Ardian as the team has a strong collaborative approach, a core skill set and an extensive network. We were also convinced by Ardian’s primary business philosophy, a set of values that we also share. Our common goal is founded on two aspects: first, strengthen our position on our core-business—refrigerated dough, crepes and pancakes—and second, invest in expanding into adjacent segments and extending our geographic reach.”

Mr. Réveilhac continued: “Over the past ten years, Cérélia has managed to open its capital to a number of employees. We will continue this with Ardian. Our management team is committed to our strategy and has made a significant investment alongside Ardian. I would like to thank our employees for their commitment, support and professionalism, which every day helps contribute to the quality of service we provide to our clients.”

Thibault Basquin, head of Americas Investments for the Ardian Buyout Fund, said: “We are proud to invest alongside management as we accelerate Cérélia’s growth in Europe and North America. Its undisputed market position in Europe, quality of customer relationships and history of growth reflect the strength of the management team, the employees and the overall commitment to a culture of excellence. In particular, Ardian is excited to partner with Guillaume Réveilhac and Walter Kluit to drive Cérélia’s organic growth and acquisition strategy. We firmly believe that the company’s innovative products, use of technology and sustainability initiatives make Cérélia a leader in the bakery category.”

Rémi Buttiaux, partner at IK Investment Partners and advisor to the IK VII Fund commented: "We have been delighted to help Guillaume Réveilhac and his team transform Cérélia into the global leader it is today. Under our ownership, Cérélia doubled its size in four years, and further developed its product range along with its international footprint through three acquisitions.  The Group's unique know-how coupled with its manufacturing competitive edge will enable it to smoothly transition into its new development phase.”

Cérélia is the seventh investment of Ardian's Buyout team in 2019. With 50 employees across seven offices in Europe and New York, the buyout team invests in high-quality mid- and large-cap companies, applying transformational strategies to become world leaders in their niche markets.