Switzerland: Equity firm exits former Cargill premix and feed business

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages
Aurelius Equity Opportunities has agreed to sell Granovit, a Swiss provider of premix and livestock compound feed, to the company's executives as part of a management buyout.

Aurelius purchased the Swiss business from Cargill in late 2017.

The parties said they would not be disclosing the financial details of the transaction.

Rebranded as Granovit, the business produces premix and compound feed for poultry, swine, beef cattle and dairy cattle for the Swiss market at three production facilities. The product portfolio also includes specialty feed for pets, horses and zoo animals, as well as medicated feed.

Developments since acquisition 

The buy-out was led by current CEO, Andreas Fischer. The executives said they will continue the direction taken to operationally restructure the business.

The carve-out from the Cargill Group was successfully completed in only three months, said Aurelius. Among other things, an independent finance department and IT infrastructure were developed and the company was positioned in the market under the new name Granovit in 2018.

The equity player said the company’s structures, processes and costs were optimized and adapted to the requirements of a medium-sized Swiss enterprise. In addition, the portfolio was drastically streamlined with a focus on quality, while a new number of products were introduced to the market.

Background

Aurelius says its mission is to acquire, restructure and eventually sell companies in special situations, such as corporate spin-offs and privately held companies “with issues”.​ The German group typically deploys between €5m and €80m per deal, according to data from AltAssets.

A spokesperson for Cargill told this publication in November 2017 about the rationale for the divestment of the Swiss feed business:

"We conducted a full operational and geographical review of European operations, and decided it was in the best long-term interest of our organization to divest of our animal nutrition business in Switzerland. We are confident that Aurelius is the right new owner for this business and that they will continue to meet the needs of Swiss customers. We remain committed to our successful animal nutrition businesses across Europe, and will continue to explore opportunities to further grow our business in this important market."

When pressed on whether the Swiss division had not been performing as well as Cargill had envisaged, she said then: "We made a strategic business decision in the best long-term interest of all stakeholders to find a new owner who could take a localized approach, grow the business and continue to serve the needs of Swiss customers."

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