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Mademoiselle Desserts and IK Partners work with BNP Paribas on sale – sources

French frozen bakery maker Mademoiselle Desserts and its majority owner, IK Partners, are working with financial advisor BNP Paribas on an upcoming sale of the company, three sources familiar with the matter and a sector player said.

Although a formal mandate has not yet been signed, there is “no doubt” that BNP Paribas will lead the sale, one source added.

Mademoiselle Desserts has already hired a separate, undisclosed, advisor to kick off vendor due diligence, according to the same source.

The sale process is slated to kick off in September, another of the sources said. This news service has previously reported that the sale is expected to take place later this year, or early 2025.

Given that Mademoiselle Desserts is a sizeable business, a second financial advisor could potentially be needed to support BNP Paribas, the second source said.

The company, which is headquartered in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, registered EUR 70m-EUR 75m of EBITDA in FY23, as previously reported.

For FY24, EBITDA is forecast to reach EUR 80m, two of the sources said.

Mademoiselle Desserts’ position as one of the biggest players in frozen pastry in Europe means there are few logical strategic bidders, but, aside from private equity interest, a larger food company may look into buying the business, the second source said. One possibility is that CVC could buy Mademoiselle Desserts and merge it with Monbake, which it recently acquired, to create a large Southern European frozen bakery business, this source speculated.

Monbake, a Spanish producer and distributor of frozen dough, was bought by private markets manager CVC from Ardian and its co-investors Alantra, Artá, and Landon in March, as reported. The acquisition reportedly valued Monbake between EUR 900m and EUR 1bn, making it the largest deal in the European bakery space in the first four months this year, as per an analysis by this news service.

M&A activity has increased in the European bakery space this year, as the cost of energy and raw materials have come down while prices for end products remain at a high level. This means there is a huge incentive to sell now, according to the same analysis piece.

Established in 1984, Mademoiselle Desserts owns 12 production sites in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to its website. IK Partners acquired a majority stake in July 2018 from its previous private equity owners, while more than 160 of the company’s managers still own a combined 14% stake, as per the website.

Also in 2018, shortly after IK Partners came onboard, Mademoiselle Desserts bought French family-owned pastry producer Pâtisserie Michel Kremer and Les Délices des 7 Vallées.

In 2023, Mademoiselle Desserts acquired the dessert and ice cream production activities of Belgian food company Galana, and French organic and vegan cookies producer Dodo Cookie Co.

Mademoiselle Desserts has a likely to exit score of 69 out of 100, according to Mergermarket‘s Likely to Exit (LTE) predictive algorithm*, partly driven by how long it has been held by IK Partners.

IK and Mademoiselle Desserts declined to comment. BNP Paribas did not reply to a request for comment.

*Mergermarket’s LTE predictive analytics assign a score to sponsor-backed companies to help track and predict when an exit could occur through M&A, an IPO, a direct listing or a deSPAC transaction.