Argos Wityu becomes majority shareholder of La Compagnie des Desserts

Argos Wityu becomes majority shareholder of La Compagnie des Desserts

Argos Wityu becomes majority shareholder of La Compagnie des Desserts green_squares


Paris, 15 December 2016

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The merger of UK based Destiny Foods and La Compagnie des Desserts (« CDD ») reinforces CDD’s position as one of the leading European manufacturers and distributors of frozen desserts for the foodservice industry. On this occasion, Argos Wityu funds take a majority stake in CDD’s capital alongside CM-CIC Investissement and French entrepreneurs Didier and Sylvie Barral.

Founded during the 1980s, CDD is one of the leading European manufacturers and distributors of frozen desserts for the restaurant industry.

The company generates revenues of €61m (+12% growth) through the operation of three frozen desserts manufacturing plants and one ice-cream factory in France as well as sales subsidiaries in Spain, UK, Switzerland and USA. Mid-2016, the company acquired an ice-cream manufacturing facility in NYC (USA) called Mont-Blanc Dessert in order to address the specific needs of the US market.

Creativity, great taste and excellence of service allow CDD to attract an ever-growing customer base in the restaurant industry.

In the UK, Destiny Foods, with over €15m of revenues, has become in 26 years a nationally recognized business serving high-end frozen desserts to the UK foodservice channel. The company owns a manufacturing facility and a cold store in Manchester.

It is only logical that, after a history of commercial collaboration, CDD joined together with Destiny Foods, with Richard Watts remaining as Managing Director of the company he created.

« La Compagnie des Desserts is the ideal partner for Destiny Foods. We both have the same approach to our craft, offer high quality desserts, operate facilities which allow us to offer bespoke products to address any particular demand and share a common obsession with customer service. We are going to pool our knowledge and our product ranges to supply our customers throughout Europe thanks to CDD’s distribution network and sell CDD’s high-end French desserts and ice-cream here in the UK. There are very exciting opportunities ahead… » Richard Watts, Managing Director of Destiny Foods, comments.

Didier Barral, CDD’s CEO, comments: « Destiny Foods and CDD have the same business model. There is great synergy in the product ranges and distribution capabilities. Our combined revenues in the UK will position us as a key manufacturer / distributor of frozen desserts, and Destiny will allow us to offer our clients, in the rest of Europe, a new range of typically British / American desserts».

The transaction is an opportunity for the founders, Didier and Sylvie Barral, to initiate a gradual management transition over a two-year period where Didier Barral will focus on the group’s international expansion, for which he has worked so intently..

Gilles Lorang, Partner at Argos Wityu, adds that: « Didier and Sylvie Barral have prepared CDD for the next development phase. With the help of the management team, they have strengthened CDD’s core competencies with great success. Destiny Foods’ addition comes at a key moment where the group is now fully able to leverage its differentiating know-how, its strong customer service culture and its proven capacity to grow organically and internationally ». He adds that: « Argos Wityu will encourage this approach not only by providing the necessary resources for the Destiny Foods acquisition, but also by bringing its long-standing experience in international expansion and by introducing seasoned managers who will gradually take responsibility for the group’s management ».

Philippe Bonny, takes a stake in CDD’s capital alongside Argos Wityu and will assume the CEO position of the group. In the past, he led the Hubert / Coup de Pates group between 1999 and 2015,  an era characterized by strong revenue growth (above €270m) and Coup de Pates’ positioning as leader of the premium BtoB frozen pastry and bakery markets.

Frédéric Plas, Managing Director at CM-CIC Investissement, comments: « CM-CIC Investissement is proud to have contributed to the creation and expansion of the CDD group for the last 12 years in collaboration with Didier and Sylvie Barral and their management team. We have full confidence in its unique business model and in its management team which we know is profoundly dedicated to the company and its success. That is why we wished to keep a significant stake in CDD’s capital as part of the Destiny transaction and Argos Wityu’s arrival as majority shareholder. »

As mentioned above, CM-CIC Investissement, Didier and Sylvie Barral and the company’s main managers retain a stake of CDD’s capital. Richard Watts retains a stake in Destiny Foods’ capital.

 

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