CEE-focused private equity firm Abris Capital Partners will take Polish fish processing business Graal private, after securing enough of the company’s shares traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange to squeeze out remaining investors.
Before trading in the share was suspended as a result of Abris's intention to de-list Graal from the Warsaw market, the company had a market cap of PLN 255m, according to the Polish bourse.
The take-private is the culmination of an acquisition process begun on 25 August when Abris first lodged a bid to acquire Graal. Abris reached a 95% shareholding in October, passing the threshold allowing to enact a compulsory purchase of the remaining shares in the company and plans to delist it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange in the coming months.
The GP partnered with Graal founder Boguslaw Kowalski in its acquisition bid, who is expected to play a substantial role in growing the company under its new ownership. Kowalski held 44.23% of Graal's share capital ahead of the joint bid with Abris, which saw the two investors' holdco offer PLN 26 per share for the outstanding 4.49 million shares in Graal. The price valued the initial tender offer at around PLN 116.8m – though the offered price was increased to PLN 32 apiece in October.
Abris invested equity from its Abris CEE Mid Market Fund III, a vehicle launched in January 2016 with a target of €500m. According to unquote" data, the fund held a first close on €350m in May, and the GP said in a statement it expects fundraising to continue into 2017. Both of Abris's predecessor funds are now in realisation mode, the firm said.
Headquartered in Wejherowo near Gdansk, Graal is a fish processing business. The company's products include canned, chilled and smoked fish, which it produces across four Polish factories and exports to 20 countries in Europe, North America and Japan.
Graal employs a staff of 2,500 and has yearly turnover of around €250m, according to a statement by Abris.
Abris Capital Partners – Wojciech Jezierski (investment director).
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