Squire Patton Boggs has advised Mariusz Koczwara, the owner of the Polish gluten-free manufacturer Bezgluten, on his sale of the company to Bounty Brands, the food division of Coast2Coast, an investment holding based in South Africa. Gessel advised Coast2Coast on the deal that recently closed following a September signing.
Bounty Brands acquired 99% of Bezgluten shares in the buyout, which marks the fourth buyout in the Polish food sector. The seller will retain the balance and will remain in its CEO position and continue the core management of the business. The deal is unrelated to Bounty Brand's recent acquisition of Poland's Stella Pack (reported by CEE Legal Matters on November 17, 2017).
Bezgluten, the producer and distributor of gluten-free products, is a second largest player on the Polish free gluten food market. The company operates a manufacturing plant near Krakow, and it currently employs more than 75 people. The company reportedly spent over PLN 145 million on gluten-free products in 2016. According to Stefan Rabe, the CEO of Bounty Brands: “Bezgluten build a strong brand, offers unique products and strengths our position on the fast growing free gluten food and snacks market”.
According to Squire Patton Boggs, "In connection with Coast2Coast partial exit plans related to next year IPO of Bounty Brands, the Polish team of Coast2Coast did a remarkable work this year to strengthen Bounty Brands position in the Polish food sector. Their investment criteria in connection with the planned IPO differs slightly from typical PE Houses looking primarily on fast growing EBITDA track and projection, as Coast2Coast focuses also on strong brands, synergies with other portfolio companies, and net financial result”.
The Squire Patton Boggs team consisted of Partner Michal Karwacki, supported by Counsel Pawel Magierowski and Associates Hubert Binkiewicz and Aleksandra Drozdz.
The Gessel team was led by Partner Maciej Kozuchowski and included Associate Tomasz Maslak.