Bid Corporation (Bidcorp) of South Africa acquired a majority shareholding in Pier 7 Foods based in Gröbenzell, Germany, securing entry into the lucrative German food service market. Clairfield International acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Bidcorp.
Bidcorp is headquartered in Johannesburg and was established in 1988. The group operates globally in food services which comprises wholesale distribution of frozen, chilled, fresh, and dry foodstuffs, as well as ancillary products, mostly to B2B clients in the HoReCa market (hotels, restaurants, and catering-businesses). Its products are imported, warehoused, and directly delivered to B2B customers. Bidcorp is quoted on the Johannesburg stock exchange and generates close to EUR 10 billion in revenues. The group has significant investments in over 50 businesses and currently has approximately 25,000 employees.
The acquisition of Pier 7 Foods accomplishes Bidcorp’s objective of market entry into Germany. Pier 7 Foods delivers to the food and gastro-hotel industry in Germany and Austria on a 24/7 basis through captive warehouses and its own fleet of trucks. Customers include well-known restaurant chains and hotels. Bidcorp and Pier 7 Foods will assess other strategic partnering opportunities in the upcoming months. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including approval by the German Bundeskartellamt (Independent Competition Authority).
Dr. Albert Schander, the head of Clairfield’s consumer and retail sector practice, and managing partner of Clairfield Germany, said: “The majority acquisition of Pier 7 Foods is the second successive transaction of our client Bidcorp. In 2014 Clairfield International advised in Bidcorp’s Italian market entry with the acquisition of Gruppo DAC. Clairfield is pleased to serve as trusted strategic and financial advisor to international repeat clients such as Bidcorp.”
Markus Erhart, managing director and founder of Pier 7 Foods as well as future co-shareholder, said: “I closely analyzed Bidcorp business units over an extended period in order to be certain that I selected the correct partner, as I intend to proactively manage the transition of my business. Bidcorp is the right partner for our group’s further growth as Bidcorp is very entrepreneurial and our product portfolios complement each other in different geographies. For both companies, service to our clients and high quality are paramount.”
Stephen Bender, managing director of Bidcorp Foodservice (Europe) Ltd. and future co-managing director, added: ”Our investment in Pier 7 Foods in Germany is a further milestone in our growth strategy in Europe. Only a few weeks ago we announced the acquisition of the Spanish Guzman Group. We are looking forward to implementation of our roll-out strategy for the German market working closely with Markus and his team.”