Germany: Nestlé acquires minority stake in spice brand Ankerkraut

Start-up expected to leverage FMCG giant’s international distribution network while providing Nestlé with online sales experience 
Source: EMZ

Nestlé has acquired a minority share in Hamburg-based spice maker Ankerkraut from European investment firm EMZ Partners for an undisclosed amount. 

EMZ invested in Ankerkraut in 2020, alongside the founder and management team. The sale of the investor’s share in the business has provided returns over 2x multiple of money invested (MoM). 

As part of Ankerkraut’s deal with Nestle, the latter will seek to leverage the start-ups omni-channel experience and provide it with international distribution resources. 

The start-up’s sales are split evenly between online and off-line sales, despite the company starting out as a DTC brand. 

The spice company was founded in 2013, and has since grown into a promising challenger brand in Central Europe. 

It operates a sustainable approach to packaging and NPD by using cork lids and glass jars for its spice mixes, instead of plastic. Its products are also free of preservatives and artificial products. 

Nestlé Germany CEO Marc Boersch said of the investment: “I’m delighted to welcome the Ankerkraut team to the Nestlé family. We are convinced that we can learn much from each other and bring together the best of both worlds, particularly in such areas as brand building, leveraging trends and innovation as well as how a portfolio can be grown successfully.” 

Ankerkraut founder Stefan Lemcke said: “Our partnership with EMZ saw Ankerkraut go from strength to strength, and we thank the team for their support. We are extremely proud to have Nestlé on board as a strategic partner and are very enthusiastic about our mutual goal to bring Ankerkraut to the next level.” 

EMZ was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Latham & Watkins, Deloitte, and Munich Strategy Group.