Dutch company Vivera is the third-largest plant-based food manufacturer in Europe

Brazil’s meat processing giant JBS has entered into an agreement to purchase Vivera, Europe’s third-largest plant-based food producer, for an enterprise value of €341 million. The deal includes three manufacturing facilities and a research and development centre located in The Netherlands.

“This acquisition is an important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform”, said Gilberto Tomazoni, global chief executive of JBS. “Vivera will give JBS a stronghold in the plant-based sector, with technological knowledge and capacity for innovation”.

Dutch company Vivera develops and produces a broad range of plant-based meat replacement products for major retailers in more than 25 countries across Europe. Vivera’s top markets are the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

Vivera has been backed by mid-market private equity firm Gilde Buy Out Partners since 2015. Gilde entrusted Houlihan Lokey to advise on the deal.

The acquisition of Vivera gives JBS a global reach in the plant-based space at a time when strong growth is expected in this category.

JBS plant-based offering

The deal will add a brand to JBS’ portfolio that is well-established in consumer preference, strengthening its focus on value-added products.

Vivera, currently the largest independent plant-based company in Europe, will join other JBS initiatives such as the Incrível range of plant-based burgers, which is commercialised by JBS’ brand Seara. JBS’ plant-based offering also includes Planterra, the US subsidiary it launched in March last year with the OZO brand.

JBS plans to manage Vivera as a standalone business unit with its current leadership team to remain in place.

Willem van Weede, chief executive of Vivera, said: “Joining forces with JBS gives us access to significant resources and capabilities to accelerate our current strong growth trajectory and Vivera brand expansion.”

The deal was approved by the JBS board of directors and will be concluded after approval by the antitrust authorities.

Date published: 19 April 2021

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