News - 24.05.2014

Estrella Maarud to become part of Intersnack Group

(Oslo and Dusseldorf, 24 May 2014) Intersnack Group GmbH & Co KG ("Intersnack") and Herkules Private Equity Fund II ("Herkules") today announced that they have entered into an agreement where Herkules sells the salted snacks manufacturer Estrella Maarud ("Estrella Maarud" or "the Company") to Intersnack for an undisclosed sum. The transaction has already closed for the Nordics, while closing for the Baltics is expected within a few weeks, subject to approval by the competition authority in Lithuania.

Estrella Maarud is a leading manufacturer and supplier of branded salted snacks in the Nordic and Baltic countries, including brands such as Maarud (number 1 in Norway), Estrella (number 1 or 2 in Sweden, Finland and the Baltics) and Taffel (challenger in Denmark).

The Company has a long heritage of producing premium salted snacks and began making chips in 1936. It was acquired by Herkules in October 2008 through a carve-out from Kraft Foods and has thereafter established itself as a standalone company through a comprehensive process managed by Herkules, including the recruitment of a new management team. Today, Estrella Maarud offers consumers a complete range of snacks including chips, speciality snacks, baked snacks and nuts. Manufacturing facilities are located in Disenå (Norway), Angered (Sweden) and Kaunas (Lithuania) with headquarters in Oslo. During the past years, the company had a strong performance with top line growth of 7% in both 2012 and 2013, outperforming most peers in the Nordic grocery retail sector by far. In 2013, Estrella Maarud had an annual turnover of €130m and employs approximately 430 people.

Intersnack is a pan-European Group with decades of experience in the salted snack business. It has experienced strong growth, both organically and through several successful acquisitions. Last year the Group achieved a turnover of €2bn, employing more than 8,000 people. Like Estrella Maarud, the Group pursues a multi local business model, offering a broad portfolio of more than twenty local and some international brands and covering all snack categories. Intersnack strongly believes in local entrepreneurship and production.

Being part of Intersnack will enable Estrella Maarud to further capitalise on growth opportunities and strengthen its leading positions in its core markets.

Maarten Leerdam, Executive Chairman of Intersnack, says: “Estrella Maarud is a company with long-standing traditions and iconic brands that have established strong positions in their home markets. The Intersnack Board is very pleased to welcome Estrella Maarud to our Group and knows that the company fits perfectly. By this unique opportunity we enter the strong Nordic and Baltic snacks market with more than 32m consumers. We look forward to working with Estrella Maarud’s existing management team and employees to jointly leverage the growth opportunities which the combined businesses offer.” 

Sverre Flåskjer, Partner, Herkules Capital says: “Our ambition with the Estrella Maarud investment was to create a strong salted snacks company. Together with management we have implemented our clearly defined plan to grow top line, strengthen the brands, innovate and improve performance. We have regained a strong number one position in Norway, the market leadership in potato chips in Sweden and the number two position in Denmark. The company is driving the category development for our customers across the Nordics and Baltics and is ready for its next development phase through an industrial ownership. Herkules Private Equity Fund II has with this sale completed another very successful investment.”

Björn Pedersen, CEO Estrella Maarud says: “Herkules has played an active and strategic ownership role in Estrella Maarud which the entire team at Estrella Maarud is very pleased with. We are now very happy to have Intersnack as a new industrial owner which will enable us to continue developing the company further. We look forward to being part of a privately owned group with well-known local hero brands, high expertise and capabilities to develop new products – and with a very similar business approach to ours.”
Herkules was advised by ABG Sundal Collier, Wiersholm and PWC. Intersnack was advised by Wikborg Rein and EY.


For further information, please contact:

Sverre Flåskjer, Partner, Herkules Capital
Telephone: +47 48 11 04 66

Estrella Maarud
Bjørn Pedersen, Group CEO, Estrella Maarud
Telephone: +47 92 44 45 46

Maarud AS
Kenneth Hamnes, CEO, Maarud AS
Telephone: +47 952 92 049

Estrella AB
Carina Hanson, CEO, Estrella AB
Telephone: +46 31 332 30 10

Bernd ter Glane, Director Marketing and Communications Europe
Telephone +49 21171065247
For Nordic media: Teresa Wincrantz, Mobile +44 7595 055 877


Notes to Editors

About Intersnack Group
Intersnack Group is one of the leading manufacturers of salted snacks in Europe. It has its headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany and is managed by Maarten Leerdam, Stephan Kühne, Johan van Winkel and Roland Stroese as its management board. The company manufactures branded and non-branded snacks in all salted snacks product categories: potato chips, extruded and pellet products, nuts as well as baked products as crackers, pretzels and salted sticks. An established family of snack businesses, the Group has more than 45 years’ experience. In 2013, Intersnack achieved a record annual turnover of €2bn. Intersnack currently has around 8,000 employees.

More info can be found at: 

About Herkules
Herkules is among Norway’s leading private equity funds, with an aggregated capital base of more than USD 2 billion in committed capital from Norwegian and international investors. The funds invest in established companies with strong growth potential, either for organic growth or growth through acquisitions, and focuses on companies based in the Nordic countries. Herkules acquires majority ownership positions in the companies and has extensive experience in partnering with existing shareholders. Herkules has respect for the companies’ history, and takes an industrial approach, focusing on long-term growth. Herkules has offices in Oslo and Singapore.

More information to be found at: 

About Estrella Maarud
Estrella Maarud manufactures and markets salted snacks in the Nordic and Baltic countries under the brands of Estrella, Maarud and Taffel. The company has a strong position in its markets with a wide range of various salted snacks products. Estrella and Maarud are the iconic salted snacks brands in its home markets Sweden and Norway. Headquarters for both the group and Maarud AS is in Oslo, while Estrella AB is led from Gothenburg. Nordic manufacturing plants are in Disenå in Norway and Angered in Sweden. Headquarters and manufacturing facilities for the Baltic business is in Kaunas, Lithuania. The company has about 430 employees.