Nutrition merger: Prinsen set to acquire Gustav Berning

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nutrition merger: Prinsen set to acquire Gustav Berning
Prinsen Food Group is set to buy Gustav Berning in a deal that will see the two merge to become one of the largest manufacturers of private label and branded active nutrition products in Europe.

The deal will see Dutch active nutrition manufacturing specialist Prinsen Food Group acquire German food and protein bar producer Schokoladenfabrik Gustav Berning GmbH. The newly formed Prinsen-Berning group will incorporate the activities and manufacturing facilities of both firms, and is set to become one of the leading players in the European active nutrition market.

Currently, no financial details of the transaction have been released.

According to the company, the newly formed Prinsen-Berning has the ambition to further expand its leading position for instant and ready-to-eat foods – noting that the combination of both companies offers retailers and brand owners a complete ‘one-stop shop’ in the active nutrition category.

“With the complementary acquisition of Berning, we are convinced that we can offer an even better proposition to our customers,” ​commented Alexander Collot d'Escury, CEO of Prinsen Food Group.

The combination provides more R&D capabilities and we can offer a one-stop-shop solution to our customers. In addition, with the increased production capacity we can better respond to the fast-growing global market demand.”

Merger activity

Prinsen Food Group was formed by Dutch investment company Bencis Capital Partners in late 2016 as part of its active buy and build strategy. The group consists of two companies, Prinsen and Koninklijke Buisman, which were merged to become Prinsen Food Group.
The group is known for the development and private label manufacturing of powdered nutritional solutions – including for sports nutrition, diet and wellness foods, coffee and cocoa drinks – for a range of leading retailers and brand owners in Europe.

Meanwhile, Berning manufacture a range of more than 500 ready-to-eat solid food products, both for brand owners and private label retailers.

The firm, which also has substantial activity and revenues in the USA and Asia, is known to be one of the largest producers of high protein food bars in Europe – with products primarily marketed at the sports nutrition and diet food categories.

“With the demographic changes of an aging population and costs related to public healthcare continuously on the rise, the role of food becomes increasingly important,” ​said Collot d'Escury.

“It is our international ambition to become the leading player in diet, sports and wellness nutrition in the instant and ready-to-eat segment for brand owners and private label.”

Geographic expansion?

While Berning has operations across Europe, the firm also generates a 'significant' proportion of its revenue in the US and China, markets where Prinsen does not currently operate.

Markus Wessendarp, Co-CEO of Berning said the merger will mean that both Prinsen and Berning will get stronger “because we become more attractive to get business on a global scale”.

Robert Hoopman, Prinsen director of marketing and product development, said the strategy for Prinsen-Berning will initially focus on expanding sales to customers in Northwestern Europe, with plans to expand its geographic reach to follow.

“Our first priority is to ensure we deliver our ‘one stop shop’ concept to current and potential customers in northwestern Europe. As a second​ step, we will look to extend to southern and Mediterranean Europe. Berning already serves customers in China and the US and we will explore further opportunities in these areas for both powders and bars,”​ he told sister publication FoodNavigator​.

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