International private equity firm Cinven today announces that it has agreed to sell Planasa, a global leader in the agri-tech sector, to strategic buyer EW Group, a family-owned international group, with key businesses in genetics, health, diagnostics, nutrition and food. Financial details of the transaction are not disclosed.
Headquartered in Valtierra, Spain, Planasa specialises in R&D for the breeding of next-generation berry varieties, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, that better suit the needs of plant growers, retailers and consumers globally. Planasa provides access to its specialised plant varieties through its nursery operations, guaranteeing the provision of high-quality seedlings to plant growers.
Planasa also provides ongoing technical support to customers, ensuring its varieties perform to the highest level. The Company has six R&D centres in Europe, Mexico and the US, and has invested more than €25m in R&D over the last five years. As a result, Planasa has a proven track-record of new variety development. Planasa operates in more than 25 countries and supplies customers from its 13 nursery facilities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.
Cinven’s Iberia Regional team worked closely with its Consumer Sector team to identify Planasa as an attractive primary investment opportunity based on its market leading position, strong track record of growth, and the significant market opportunity supported by increased global berry consumption. Since acquiring Planasa in January 2018, Cinven has worked in close partnership with the management team to achieve strong performance.
It has supported the transformation of the business from a predominantly nursery and fresh produce provider at acquisition, to a leading global berry breeder and high value-add operator specialising in plant variety research, development and commercialisation at exit. Cinven has also helped develop and roll-out new berry varieties through significant R&D investment, including varieties with improved ESG credentials, that are more resilient to different climate and agricultural conditions, such as drought, pests or diseases, and therefore help reduce the use of water and fertilisers, as well as helping to minimise food waste.
It has also completed the acquisition of Advanced Berry Breeding, a Dutch raspberry breeding group with a complementary portfolio of raspberry varieties. Also, Cinven has professionalised nursery operations through investment in field digitalisation and continued process improvements and finally expanded internationally to Mexico, Peru, China, the US and Morocco.