InVivo NSA 'close to deal' with private equity investor Eurazeo in bid to raise expansion capital

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

InVivo NSA 'close to deal' with private equity investor Eurazeo
European based private equity firm, Eurazeo, has revealed it is holding ‘exclusive’ talks with InVivo NSA towards securing a minority stake in the French animal nutrition and health group.

Eurazeo, as a publically listed company, was obliged to disclose the negotiations with the French feed player.

Its investment strategy, it says, involves the identification and acceleration of the transformation potential of companies in which it invests, even long after its exit.

“An active and committed shareholder, Eurazeo assists its holdings in the long term – 5 to 7 years – with control over exit timing,”​ states the private equity group’s website.

Matthieu Leroy, InVivo NSA director of projects, information systems and communication and advisor to the CEO, told FeedNavigator the French group "expects to conclude negotiations and sign a deal with Eurazeo in about one to two month’s time."

He said talks also continue with a few other potential investors as part of InVivo NSA's capital injection project.

"But Eurazeo will be the leading minority investor in the company and InVivo NSA will remain the majority stakeholder – at clearly over 50%.”

Leroy said those investments, taken together with the capacity to raise debt (leverage effect), should leave the French feed firm with ample funds – in the region of €350 to €500 million ($568m) to support its ambitious expansion plans in critical areas such as feed additives and premixes.

Acquisition trail

InVivo NSA has been quite active in terms of asset building in recent months.

Last September saw it acquire Swiss feed ingredients firm, Pancosma - a move the French animal nutrition group said would consolidate its position in the specialty feeds market.

“The Pancosma deal is the first of several in the pipeline as we are aiming to be in the top five specialty feed additive makers in the world. Compared to other feed markets, this segment is not that consolidated, so there are other acquisition targets available,”​ said Leroy back then.

He was extremely positive about the revenue generation possibilities of the segment: “The specialty feed additive sector is extremely appealing as it does not require as much capital input as other feed segments but generates a high return on investment. There is huge interest in acidifiers, in particular, as demand for alternatives to antibiotics increases.”

The group bought out Brazilian animal nutrition producer, Total Alimentos in October last year to strengthen its position in pet food but also its foothold in the dairy and aqua feed segments in that market.

InVivo NSA has said previously that it is trying to leverage demand for animal protein in Latin America and that it had plans to expand both organically and externally in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Asian growth

Growth in Asia is also a priority.

Gonzalo Rodriguez, corporate marketing director at the French group told us in December. “The French market today represents 38% of our business but we have an ambitious growth plan for the next 10 years, which places the Asian market firmly on our radar screen in terms of expansion. We expect to grow organically there but, evidently, we will need to make acquisitions in this territory as well to meet our targets.”

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