CSM Bakery Solutions, a global supplier of bakery ingredients, products and services, has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its European and International Bakery Ingredients business to an investment subsidiary of Investindustrial VII L.P. (“Investindustrial”).

This is the latest step in the evolution of CSM, which has been owned by investment funds affiliated with Rhône Capital (together with its affiliates, “Rhône”) since 2013. As a stand-alone business, under Rhône’s ownership, CSM has expanded and strengthened its presence not only in Europe and North America, where CSM was originally present, but also in China and the Middle East, growing organically in a fragmented industry. This is the third significant division to be successfully divested by Rhône since its initial investment.

CSM’s European and International Bakery Ingredients business offers a diversified and ever growing line of products, ingredients and supplies to the food industry and has shown a strong resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with its bread ingredients and bakery fats driving continued growth as consumer habits shifted under government-mandated lockdowns. The completion of its sale, which will also include the international operations is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021. The European Bakery Ingredients business will continue to operate under the CSM Bakery Solutions tradename.

Until then, the business will continue to operate with the same great dedication and professionalism as it currently does, maintaining the same excellent standards when it comes to serving both its Bakery Products and Bakery Ingredients customers. Furthermore, whilst this transition takes place, the existing European management team led by Sales and Chief Commercial Officer, Europe, John Lindsay, will continue in their roles.

This sale creates an opportunity for the Bakery Products business to focus its efforts on strengthening its position as its customers’ preferred bakery partner and confirms management’s long term commitment to the bakery products sector. Following the completion of this sale, CSM and Rhône will retain two distinct businesses: the North America business, operated as Brill, Inc., and the European Products business, which will be rebranded with a to be determined identity following the completion of the sale. The sale of CSM’s European and International Bakery Ingredients business will help management position the remaining two businesses for continued growth.

Marianne Kirkegaard, president and CEO of CSM, said: “This sale is a very important strategic move for us and allows us to focus on our core Bakery Products offering, in both Europe and North America.

“With the support of Rhône, we have managed to strengthen our position in all geographies for both Bakery Ingredients and Bakery Products and the sale of CSM’s European and International Bakery Ingredients business is a very natural next step for us.

“It marks an exciting new chapter for CSM and we look forward to seeing continued success for both businesses working as closely connected future partners. Investindustrial is growing its position in bakery ingredients and I am reassured that under their ownership, the European Bakery Ingredients business will solidify its deserved position and reputation in the industry.”

Gianpiero Lenza, managing director at Rhône, said: “We are proud of our partnership with Marianne Kirkegaard and CSM’s management team and of the strategic transformation of CSM’s European and International Bakery Ingredients business into an international market leader.”

“CSM has succeeded in a challenging sector and capitalizing on significant market opportunities. Our carve-out expertise has allowed us to create value for our investors systematically through strategic asset sales and will help the company position its remaining two businesses for continued growth and value creation.”

Rothschild & Co served as financial advisor to CSM. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provided legal counsel to CSM, and UBS served as financial advisor and Slaughter and May provided legal counsel to Investindustrial.