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Equistone-backed GALA Kerzen acquires Ramesh Flowers

28 Feb 2018

GALA Kerzen, a leading manufacturer of candles headquartered in Germany, is expanding through the acquisition of a majority stake in Ramesh Flowers, an Indian manufacturer and exporter of potpourri, air fresheners, incense sticks, candles and decorative products. The deal represents the first purchase for the Bavarian candle manufacturer since its acquisition by funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”) in 2016. The acquisition of Ramesh Flowers will expand GALA Kerzen’s range of high-end scented and decorative products and enable the company to move into new markets outside Europe. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed and completion remains subject to competition authority approval.

The acquisition of the Indian manufacturer represents a strategic expansion for Equistone and its portfolio company GALA Kerzen. Ramesh Flowers’ range of products includes scented potpourris, dried flowers and scented oils and candles. The company was founded in 1982 in Tuticorin (India) by Mahendra Raj Singhwi, who continues to run the company today. Ramesh Flowers employs a total of c.3,000 workers in its production sites in India and in Temecula (California, USA), which are all BSCI-, SMEPA- and SEDEX- certified. Through its longstanding wholesale partners, the company supplies international retail chains in its target markets in Europe and the USA, with the American market alone accounting for more than 43% of Ramesh Flowers’ exports. The acquisition will open up new opportunities for GALA Kerzen in both adjacent segments and in new target markets.

Dirk Langhammer, Managing Director of the GALA Kerzen, said, "Equistone provided GALA Kerzen with optimal support as part of the succession plan two years ago. Since then, we have focused primarily on generating new growth, which we have done successfully in a consolidating market. Now our aim is to continue our global growth as a European candle manufacturer. Our starting position is strong: nine out of ten candles sold in the EU are manufactured in Europe. It is therefore all the more important that we do not rest on our laurels and that we look to the future. With Equistone as a partner, GALA Kerzen can realise strategic opportunities and chances for growth – such as this acquisition of a majority stake in Ramesh Flowers."

Dirk Schekerka, Country Head of Equistone in the DACH region, said, “The acquisition of Ramesh Flowers will create a number of growth opportunities for GALA Kerzen, expanding the company’s range of products into the adjacent segment of home fragrances and decorative products. This enhanced product range will be sold to GALA Kerzen’s existing and established retail partners. Additionally, the presence of Ramesh Flowers in the USA will give GALA Kerzen a foothold in markets outside Europe, while both the UK and the DACH region represent new potential target markets for Ramesh Flowers’ products in Europe. Furthermore, access to Ramesh Flowers’ existing manufacturing sites will drive efficiencies in production and enable GALA Kerzen to profitably distribute smaller batches of products.”

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