Platinum Equity acquires Iberconsa from Portobello Capital

Platinum Equity has purchased a majority stake in Vigo, Spain-based frozen seafood producer Iberconsa for an undisclosed sum. 

Iberconsa, or Grupo Ibérica de Congelados, S.A., is a vertically integrated producer of hake, Argentine red shrimp, and squid, operating 45 vessels, five processing plants and four cold storage distribution facilities. The company’s fleet operates primarily in Argentina, Namibia and South Africa, and the company’s products are sold in more than 60 countries, according to a press release.

Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.-based Platinum Equity is owned by billionaire investor Tom Gores. The firm has approximately USD 13 billion (EUR 11.6 billion) of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies. The firm seeks to acquire and operate companies in a broad range of business markets – it has holdings in manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications, and other industries.

“Iberconsa has established itself as a leader in the markets it currently serves,” Platinum Equity Partner Louis Samson said. “The company has grown substantially in recent years and can benefit from Platinum’s operational expertise to help maximize the benefits of its increased scale. We also intend to further grow the business through new acquisitions by deploying our M&A resources to help the management team expand the company’s product portfolio and geographic reach.”

Current Iberconsa CEO Alberto Freire will continue to lead the business following the transfer of ownership, Platinum said in its announcement.

“We believe in the future of our company and are confident that Platinum Equity is the right partner to help us achieve the next stage of growth and expansion,” Freire said.

Portobello Capital, which purchased its stake in Iberconsa in December 2015 for EUR 375 million (USD 422 million), will remain a minority investor after Platinum’s purchase, along with members of Iberconsa’s management team. The firm, founded in 2010, has EUR 1.3 billlion of assets under management.

“We are proud of everything Iberconsa has accomplished during our ownership, expanding its fleet and establishing itself as a strong platform for additional growth in a fragmented market,” Portobello Capital Founding Partner Juan Luis Ramírez said. “We are re-investing in the business because we believe it is well positioned for continued success.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, Platinum said. Lazard and Deloitte served as financial advisors to Platinum Equity and Latham and Watkins acted as Platinum Equity’s legal advisor on the transaction. Nomura and Ernst and Young served as financial advisors to the sellers, and Ernst and Young also worked as the sellers’ legal advisor on the transaction.

According to La Voz de Galicia, Portobello valued Iberconsa at EUR 600 million (USD 674.9 million), and was seeking to sell its 55 percent stake for upwards of EUR 300 million (USD 337.3 million).

In 2017, Iberconsa had EUR 265.9 million (USD 299.1 million) in sales, making it one of the largest operators in the frozen seafood category in Spain.


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