Highlander Partners Announces the Acquisition of SanoVita in Romania
February 19, 2020 – Bucharest, Romania | Highlander Partners, L.P., a leading middle market private equity firm based in Dallas, Texas, today announced the acquisition of a majority stake in SanoVita. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Râmnicu Vâlcea, SanoVita is one of the most reputable and trusted food brands in Romania.
Since it was founded, the brand SanoVita (latin for “healthy life”) has represented a healthier alternative to traditional foods. The Company offers a wide range of products, including snacks, cereals, rice cakes, tofu, mueslis, and nut and seed mixes. Its founders inspired in the Company their strong beliefs that nutrition is key to a healthy life, anticipating and contributing to the consumer shift towards better eating habits in Romania, a trend which is still in early stages in the country and growing rapidly.
Highlander’s portfolio includes a variety of food and beverage companies across the world. It plans to accelerate the growth of SanoVita by introducing new products, enhancing capabilities at existing production facilities and pursuing strategic M&A. All the while, Highlander intends to continue SanoVita’s culture and commitment to the highest quality standards.
Raluca Nita, Managing Director of Highlander Partners commented, “We are very excited that SanoVita marks our second investment in Romania in less than one year. We believe the Company has significant growth opportunities, which will be driven by increased consumer awareness and product innovation. This acquisition underscores Highlander’s desire to invest in high quality branded companies; in particular, Highlander has a significant track record in the food industry which we are delighted to be applying to SanoVita.”
The founders of SanoVita will partner with Highlander and continue to support the development of the business. “We are thrilled to be working with Highlander, which has repeatedly demonstrated its focus on building long-term value for its portfolio companies. We count on Highlander to prepare SanoVita for the next stage of growth while maintaining the same values embedded in SanoVita’s culture. With enhanced operational and strategic support, we will continue to expand our market position and heighten SanoVita’s brand, which already has a considerable consumer awareness in the Romanian market” stated the Founders of SanoVita: Cornel Soare, Ion Dan and Dumitru Dan.
Jeff L. Hull, President and CEO of Highlander Partners, added “We look forward to applying our expertise in the food industry to SanoVita. The business is extremely well-positioned today, and we believe we can take the brand to the next level with accelerated innovation and expanded distribution. We also firmly believe that our ‘buy and build’ approach will be successful in this sector, as it has been in other parts of the world. We will target companies with strong growth potential and excellent brand equity as we look to complement SanoVita’s product portfolio through continued M&A.”
Kinstellar acted as legal counsel to Highlander Partners and TS Partners as financial and tax advisor, while RTPR Allen & Overy acted as a legal counsel to SanoVita’s founders.
SanoVita was founded in 1995 out of a desire to educate and change the Romanian lifestyle and eating habits. SanoVita is one of the most important players on the healthy & vegetarian food products market in Romania and is a pioneer in categories like cereal and muesli. Today, Sano Vita’s portfolio includes a diversity of cereals, healthy snacks and organic products.
About Highlander Partners, L.P.
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with approximately $2 billion of assets under management. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Highlander employs a buy and build investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow organically and through acquisitions. For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com