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Our Cases

Strategic advise trading company

Engagement

Advising a successful trading company active in the sale, distribution, (re-)packaging and procurement of dry snacks on its vision, strategy and ownership structure and facilitating the next phase in its life cycle.

Background

Our client is a European specialist and market leader in rice-based snacks, fruit snacks and ginger. Products are imported from the Far East and the U.S.A., and are then sold in both wholesale and retail quantities to a number of major supermarkets in the Netherlands and abroad. The company is a cost price-leader and predominantly adds value by buying in bulk and re-packaging in close cooperation with major suppliers and service providers, such as transport, storage and distribution companies.

Customer's dilemma

Although highly successful, the company needs to enter the next phase in its life cycle. The Managing Director/Majority Shareholder is a true pioneer but believes that his skill set insufficiently matches the requirements of that next phase. Swiftly changing market circumstances, in which customers directly approach the producers aiming for a vertical integration of the value chain, as well as increased food safety legislation, create major challenges. Our client wants the position of all stakeholders to be analysed, and the various options to be put into perspective. What is the best strategy going forward? Given this strategy, what is the best way to manage the company and its various activities? How should corporate governance be organized?

Our contribution

In close consultation with our client and the various stakeholders, we developed a vision of the most important trends and developments and the company’s subsequent role. Strategic and operational choices were discussed and subsequently laid down in an extensive business plan. As part of the strategic options, JBR supported the merger with a company active in the same sector, enabling economies-of-scale. The re-modelled corporate structure included a management buyout of both companies, leading to the establishment of a new holding company for both companies, including a new composition of shareholders. Finally, we proposed a top structure for the new entity and concrete guidelines for an integration plan.

The result

The replacement of two successful pioneers by a new generation of entrepreneurs and the merger of two companies into a European market leader. Additionally, a new retail brand was recently introduced.