Nestlé buys start-up spices Ankerkraut with White & Case

After the TV success

Swiss food giant Nestlé has acquired a majority stake in spice company Ankerkraut. The management of the company will continue to be entirely in the hands of the management team of Ankerkraut. Neither side made statements on market conditions. The transaction is subject to antitrust liquidation.

Ankerkraut was founded in Hamburg in 2013 and became widely known through the investment television show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. The company now employs about 230 people.

Ingrid Wijnmalen

In addition to retail and niche trade in Austria and Germany, Ankerkraut has five stores of its own and online sales. Investors Freigeist Capital, Knälmann Ventures and European private equity firm EMZ Partners sold their entire stake in Nestlé. According to their own statements, the founding couple Anne and Stefan Lemcke will remain on the ship as shareholders and ambassadors of the brand. They conceded only part of their shares, as did the two CEOs, Timo Haas and Alexander Schwoch. The acquisition of Nestlé has caused a great deal of criticism on social media, as the former start-up is accused of betraying its original values.

Nestlé Consultant
White & Case: Ingrid Wijnmalen (Head of Management, M & A / Corporate), Dr. Tim Bracksiek (tax law, both Frankfurt), Dr. Tilman Kuhn (Antitrust Law, Düsseldorf), Dr. Sebastian Stütze (labor law), Anna Dold (IT / data protection law; both Frankfurt), Thilo Wienke (antitrust law; Düsseldorf), Kathrin Ahting (public law, Berlin); Contributors: Thorsten Rohde and two Jan Lampert / corporate), Mathias Bogusch (IP), Sandra D’Ascenzo (real estate law), Alisa Preissler (tax law, all of Frankfurt), Mathilda Xu (public law, Berlin), Lisa Baer (public law, Düsseldorf)
Internal law (Nestlé): Felix Gey Jauffret (Vevey), Helge Köhlbrandt, Tina Weigand (both Frankfurt, all transactions and acquisitions) – known from the market

Burke Hesse

Shareholder Consultant of Ankerkraut Holding
Latham & Watkins: Burc Hesse (Head of Management, Private Equity), Dr. Tobias Leder (labor law), Prof. Dr. Thomas Grützner (compliance), Stefan Süss (all Munich), Verena Seevers (Hamburg, both tax law), Dr. Sebastian Pauls (Private Equity, Frankfurt), Dr. Susan Kempe-Müller (corporate / IP), Sven Nickel (real estate law), Joachim Grittmann (compliance, all Frankfurt), Dr. Jan Höft (antitrust law; Düsseldorf); Collaborators: Dr. Corinna Freudenmacher, Chris Freitag, Dr. Philipp Gärtner (all private equity), Dr. Christoph von Laufenberg (Compliance, all Munich), Daniela Jäger (Corporate / IP), Alexander Wilhelm (Regulator, both Frankfurt), Tobias Becker (Antitrust Agency, Düsseldorf)

Dr. Komis Dr. Reuters Drost (Frankfurt): Dr. Manfred Reuter – known from the market

Record: White & Case has historically strong ties to the Swiss market. In particular, Nestlé has long trusted the company’s practice of mergers and acquisitions in international transactions. Most recently, Wijnmalen’s partner took the lead in a Nestlé deal for the first time – specifically in the process of advising Nestlé Health Science on the acquisition of the Mevalia and Comidamed brands by Dr. Schär AG. Previously, the merger and acquisition expert had also worked to set up a joint venture with the Spanish food group Casa Taradellas and to sell the Fürst Bismarck mineral water brand to the Nestlé group.

The German team EMZ also ordered Latham & Watkins not for the first time. As early as July 2020, the Hesse team advised the European investment firm Ankerkraut. Since then, several trading consultations have followed, most recently with a majority stake in water and gas meter maker Hermann Pipersberg. The current output at Ankerkraut is the first for EMZ in Germany. Hesse and Klaus Maurer, head of EMZ Germany, have been in contact since the Maurer era with the private equity firm Silverfleet Capital.

All of Ankerkraut’s other shareholders agreed with Latham’s advice. (with dpa material)

Copyright teaser photo: Adobe Stock

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