On June 22, 2023, the shareholders of Groneweg Group (or the “Company”), VR Equitypartner and the Groneweg family, entered into a definitive agreement to divest the Company to Thrive Foods (“Thrive”). The transaction will create a strong and competitive player in food freeze-drying − from herbs, fruits and vegetables to proteins, probiotics, enzymes, and prepared meals. The transaction is expected to close in 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including certain governmental approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Groneweg is a global manufacturer and supplier offering a broad product portfolio of freeze- and air-dried products and the world market leader in freeze-dried herbs. The Company covers the entire value chain, including sourcing high-quality raw materials, contract farming, freeze-drying and packaging. It serves a diversified customer base across consumer-packaged goods and retail companies from a multi-national footprint with manufacturing operations in Greven, Germany, where it is headquartered, and in La Joya, Peru.
VR Equitypartner had acquired a significant minority stake in November 2017. Since then, a consistent growth strategy has been executed with market entry in further European countries, an expansion of presence throughout North America and the further acquisition of shares in companies in Latin America. In addition, the product range was expanded and new strategic supply partnerships ensured a high level of supply capability, which has proved particularly valuable in the challenging past years.
Thrive is a portfolio company of Entrepreneurial Equity Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the food and consumer packaged goods industries and Mubadala Capital, the wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a leading global sovereign investor headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Thrive manufacturers freeze-dried products, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, pet treats, probiotics, enzymes, and prepared meals. Thrive currently has facilities in California, Utah, New York, and Wisconsin.
With the acquisition, Thrive adds Groneweg’s extensive freeze-dried offerings to its product suite. Furthermore, a very experienced and enthusiastic management team joins the Thrive family and Thrive will be able to offer customers a globally diversified network of drying locations, robust quality control, and an efficient distribution network. Groneweg and Thrive envisage strong collaborative opportunities in several end-markets as well as diversifying the customer base. Groneweg has a strong foothold in Europe and South America, that Thrive could benefit from.