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Ergon invests in Millbo and BioNaturals

A leading natural ingredients Group is born offering clean label solutions to industrial bakeries worldwide

Ergon Capital Partners IV SCSP announced the closing of the acquisition of a majority stake in Millbo, BioNaturals International and BioNaturals Europe (together “MillboBioNaturals”). The Group is a leading manufacturer of natural ingredients for the bakery sector across Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific. The sellers will reinvest alongside Ergon in the transaction. Millbo-BioNaturals offers “clean label” solutions to industrial bakeries, replacing additives, preservatives and colorants with natural shelf life extenders and other ingredients for improving the flavour, taste and nutritional values of bread and bakery products.

Millbo was founded in 1991 by the Boggiani family in Trecate (Piedmont, Italy), where it operates a R&D centre and a production plant that is currently being expanded to more than double its capacity. Next to its sales to BioNaturals, Millbo has predominantly developed its commercial reach in Europe, wiyh a turnover around of 20 M Euros.

Established in 2003 in Virginia (US), BioNaturals serves clients located in Northern America and Australia. As such, Millbo-BioNaturals will offer a complete range of bakery ingredients (including natural shelf life extenders, active and dried sourdough, mixes, tailor-made improvers and enzymes specialties) to a complementary and global customer base encompassing industrial blue-chip bakeries, improvers, distributors and mills.

The simultaneous acquisition of Millbo and BioNaturals allows the creation of a global player with multiple venues of growth and value creation based on: (i) a diversified geographic footprint encompassing Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific; (ii) a complementary product offering and blue-chip customer base, (iii) meaningful commercial and operational synergies and cross-selling opportunities, and (iv) a fragmented market prone to a buy & build strategy aimed at improving the route to market in selected regions, expanding the product offering and entering new high-potential geographic markets. 

The Group will be managed by Alessandro Boggiani as CEO, who will remain as a key investor in the Group alongside Ergon and BioNaturals’ shareholders. “The partnership with Ergon allows the creation of a global player focused on the production of natural ingredients for the bakery industry worldwide. In Ergon, we found the best partner to write a new chapter in our family business story, able to guarantee the Group’s growth and further sustain our effort to innovate in baking and milling. We share with Ergon the same entrepreneurial values and the same vision for the development of the Group. I’m convinced that through its expertise, extensive network and financial means, Ergon will enable the Group to further accelerate its growth trajectory, also through add-on acquisitions in a highly fragmented market”, says Alessandro Boggiani, CEO. 

Riccardo Collini, Partner at Ergon, comments on the transaction: "We are delighted with the upcoming collaboration with Alessandro. We are impressed by the Group’s outstanding innovation capabilities, historical development and future growth potential. We look forward to supporting the whole MillboBioNaturals management team in realizing their ambitious goals". 

Emanuele Lembo, Senior Partner at Ergon, complements: "We are proud to add Millbo-BioNaturals to Ergon’s portfolio, strengthening our presence in the wider and attractive food-related market and enhancing our exposure to companies that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable global food supply chain”. 

The English investment bank Houlihan Lokey acted as advisor to the shareholders of Millbo and BioNaturals in the context of the sale of the two companies to Ergon Capital.

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EFA News - European Food Agency