Willkie represents PAI Partners on the contemplated acquisition in Euro Ethnic Foods, the grocery business of Grand Frais.
On November 20, Willkie client PAI Partners announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Euro Ethnic Foods (EEF), the company that owns and operates the grocery section of leading food retailer Grand Frais. PAI Partners will hold a 60% stake in EEF with the company’s founders Léo and Patrick Bahadourian continuing to own the remaining 40% of the business.
Founded by the Bahadourian family, EEF operates the grocery section of the Grand Frais stores located in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, EEF supplies grocery products to independent shops as well as networks of organic and bulk-purchase stores, using its sizeable distribution platform. This strategy has led to a significant increase in revenues over the last ten years to reach €450 million in 2020. The business model has proven particularly resilient in the current environment.
The acquisition of a majority stake by PAI Partners will enable EEF to accelerate its growth plans, both organically and externally. PAI Partners will provide support to the company as it further expands through the opening of new Grand Frais stores and continues to develop its B2B operations, both in France and internationally. PAI Partners will also back the company’s objective of implementing selective vertical integration, which will allow EEF to cover its entire value chain, from production to sales in store, as well as the ability to transform its most strategic products.
The Willkie team was led by partner Christophe Garaud (corporate) and included associates Hugo Nocerino and Louis Jambu-Merlin (corporate), partner Faustine Viala (antitrust) and special European counsel Philippe Grudé (tax).