The M&A advisors that helped Spain's Virto acquire Holland's Oerlemans

10 October 2018 3 min. read

Oerlemans Food Group, a Dutch food company with around 700 employees, has been acquired by Virto Group, a Spanish producer and distributor of food products. The acquisition, which was advised on by M&A teams from six external consultancies, sees Virto add €90 million in sales to its financial footprint, lifting its total turnover to over the €400 million mark.

Founded in 1977, Oerlemans is a producer and supplier of freshly frozen vegetables and fruit. The company has a strong client base in Europe, particularly in Northwest and Central Europe, but also serves clients globally – Oerlemans exports to more than 40 countries worldwide. The company, which operates with an own brand (‘Oerlemans Foods’) and supports private labels of larger retailers, has around 700 employees spread over four locations in the Netherlands (Waalwijk) and Poland (an office in Warsaw and two production facilities).

“The acquisition of Oerlemans allows us to broaden our products and enhance our services to both our current and new clients,” said Javier Virto, CEO of Virto. Similar to Oerlemans, privately-held Virto specialises on the production and distribution of deep-frozen vegetables, mainly for the retail, food service and industrial sectors. The company operates with commercial offices in eight countries and ten specialty centres, of which nine are in Spain (three in Navarra, two in Murcia, Badajoz, Segovia, La Rioja, Zaragoza) and one in Portugal. The 1984-founded food company produces an extensive range of vegetables, pulses, mixes, rice, pasta, cereals and vegetable-based dishes.

Spain’s Virto Group acquires Dutch food company Oerlemans

Raoul Vorage, the CEO of Oerlemans, describes Virto as a market leader in the area of “quality and innovation”, adding that the joining of forces is a win-win for both parties. “This transaction will secure the availability and quality of fresh raw materials as well as increase the variety and volume of the new combination’s product range. Additionally, the close proximity to the Rotterdam and Gdansk harbours will allow the Group to further improve its logistics capabilities.”

For Oerlemans, the sale – 100% of the shares have been purchased by the Spaniards – comes around a year after it sold its potato division to Dutch company Lamb Weston / Meijer. The deal, orchestrated by H2, the private equity firm which holds a majority stake in the company, was closed with the aim of allowing Oerlemans to focus exclusively on its fresh frozen food activities.

M&A advisors

Vorage and his management team, and H2, were throughout the deal process advised by M&A experts from Squarefield, a corporate finance advisor exclusively focused on the food and agriculture industries (transaction support), Houthoff, a Dutch law firm (legal advisory); and Deloitte, which provided financial due diligence through its Corporate Finance wing. At the Spanish side of the table, deal advisory support was entrusted to MBCF, a Netherlands-based M&A consultancy (transaction support); CMS, a law firm with 70 offices globally (legal advisory); and KPMG, one of the Big Four global accounting and consulting firms (financial due diligence).

According to a recent report by KPMG, deal activity in the Netherlands has reached its highest point in a decade.