Hofmann Menü secures the support of a new strategic partner

Hofmann Menü is a market-leading provider of frozen food products as well as related on-site catering for small business canteens and social organisations such as care homes, hospitals and schools in Germany.

Under the successful stewardship of HgCapital, which acquired the company in 2005, Hofmann Menü has sharpened its strategic focus on hospitals and other social organisations, invested in new product and service offerings, significantly expanded capacity and entered new geographical markets.

In line with its strategic plan, Hofmann Menü's development has been very strong, and the company will now accelerate its roll-out further with a new partner. Gilde, an investor with a strong record of investing in food companies, has signed a binding agreement with HgCapital, which is realising its interest, to acquire a majority stake in the company.

Hofmann Menü, headquartered in Boxberg-Schweigern, generates sales of just over €100 million and employs over 600 people. The company operates three closely-located production facilities near Boxberg-Schweigern and six distribution & logistics centers. The current daily production volume is in excess of 150,000 meals, all of which are manually prepared in one of the three central kitchens and immediately shock-frozen after preparation (the successful premium quality "cook + freeze" concept).

Johannes Ulrich, Managing Director, Hofmann Menü, commented:

"We wish to strengthen our position in the hospital and social organisation segments further and to expand our European footprint. In Gilde, we have found a partner that will support us not only in financial terms, but also through know-how and its well-established network".

Ralph Wyss, Managing Director, Gilde Buy Out Partners, said:

"Our majority participation represents a long-term commitment to Hofmann Menü. We will provide full support to the company in its entry into new market segments and in meeting its strategic objectives. This represents an opportunity for Gilde to participate in a company that is well positioned to step up its leading position in the business-to-business frozen food and food service segment".

Philipp Schwalber , Director at HgCapital, said:

"We are very pleased to have supported the company as it has grown and developed strategically and operationally over the past two years. It is now in an excellent position to continue this trajectory and I have every confidence in its future success. We wish the team at Hofmann all the very best in taking their plans forward".

Transaction participants:
For Gilde:
Gilde Buy Out Partners: Ralph Wyss, Nikolai Pronk, Alexander Friedrich, Alexandra Schmid
Commercial due diligence: Simon & Kucher (D. Lauszus, S. Hock)
Financial: KPMG (D. Nawe, T Filipczyk)
Legal: Kirkland & Ellis (V. Kullmann, C. Zuleger, W. Nardi, S. Lurken)
Financing Bank: Unicredit Markets & Investment Banking (S. Kruse, V. Kruse)
Mezzanine: European Capital (H. Twietmeyer, R. von Finckenstein)
Financing Contracts, acting for banks: Linklaters (E. Reudelhuber, J. Koermoeczi)
Management Contracts acting for management: Pöllath + Partners (B. Hohaus)
Tax: KPMG (M Dudenhöfer, J. Berberich,)
Insurance: Marsh (U. Heuser)
Environment: URS (M. Lalic, C. Rupp)

For HgCapital:
HgCapital: Ph. Schwalber, J. Drees
M&A: Sal Oppenheim (W. Schmerl, C. Höfer)
Financial Vendor DD: KPMG (N. Hall)
Legal: Clifford Chance (B. Hesse)

Contacts:

Hofmann Menü
Johannes Ulrich
Tel: +49 7930 601100

Gilde Buy Out Partners
Ralph Wyss
Tel: + 41 43 268 20 30

HgCapital
Philip Schwalber
Tel: +44 20 7089 7920

Maitland
Peter Ogden
Tel: +44 (0)20 7379 5151

About HgCapital
HgCapital is a private-equity investor in the European mid-market. We focus on investments with an enterprise value in the range of €75-750 million. Our business model combines sector specialisation with dedicated, pro-active support to our portfolio companies as well as the corresponding management expertise across all phases of the investment process. HgCapital manages more than €2.7 billion for some of the world's leading institutional and private investors. Our goal is to achieve outstanding results for our investors, management team and intermediaries.

Further information on HgCapital can be found at www.hgcapital.com.

About Gilde Buy Out Partners
Gilde Buy Out Partners is one of Europe's foremost mid-market private equity investors, with managed funds in excess of €1.3 billion. Gilde operates in the Benelux and its neighbouring economies France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. With offices in The Netherlands, Switzerland and France and its multinational team, Gilde is truly entrenched in these markets and can offer local expertise coupled with European reach and execution skills. Since its inception in 1982, Gilde has invested in over 250 companies across a diverse range of sectors. At €600 million its current investment fund Gilde Buy Out Fund III is among the largest dedicated mid-market buyout investment funds in Europe today. Gilde Buy Out Partners have consistently delivered high returns to its investors. The Gilde Buy Out Funds are subscribed by over 30 institutional investors which include some of the worlds leading financial institutions, pension funds and specialised investment funds.

Further information on Gilde can be found at www.gilde.nl.