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Equistone’s portfolio company GALA Kerzen expands for the third time in the past few months and acquires Korona Candles S.A. (“Korona”). The Polish company is considered to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of “private label” candle products, mainly scented candles. With the acquisition of Korona, GALA Kerzen completes its assortment and expands its international presence. The GALA Kerzen group of companies has developed into a leading, globally operating candle manufacturer with the Indian Ramesh Flowers, the Berlin jewelCandle and now with Korona.
GALA Kerzen is expanding its presence in Europe and the US through its partnership with Korona. Korona is a global manufacturer of candles and supplies renowned international corporations with a wide range of private label products. The product range includes tealights, pillar candles and scented candles, votive candles, container candles in glass, ceramic and metal vessels, as well as various candle refill systems. The company, based in Wieluń, Poland, was founded in 1992 and also has a production facility in Dublin / Virginia, USA. The production of candles at Korona is highly automated, and a modern logistics center supports worldwide sales. The approximately 1.000 employees generated a turnover of over 100 million euros.
“In 2013, we opened our production site in the USA and thus opened up great customer potential for our company. The US candle market is the world’s largest in terms of demand, ” explains Andrzej Wróbel, board member of Korona. “At the same time, the US manufacturing facility gives us a great deal of flexibility to respond to market needs and, in particular, to market ‘Made in USA’ products. Together with GALA Kerzen, we will now take the next step in the development of our company.”
“Korona stands for quality and sustainable business development; the company is highly innovative and extremely flexible. At the same time, Korona is characterized by strong customer loyalty and stable business relationships. This combination is one of the reasons for the success of Korona”, explains Dirk Langhammer, Managing Director of GALA Kerzen. “We want to use this and, together with Korona, advance the important expansion in Europe and the US market.”
In 2016, Equistone participated in a succession plan for GALA candles. The growth strategy should be implemented primarily through strategic acquisitions. “The merger with Korona is another important step for GALA Kerzen and the third purchase within a few months,” says Dirk Schekerka, Country Head DACH of Equistone. “The recent acquisitions have enabled us to differentiate our product offering and enter new target markets, but we have also opened up completely new sales channels. Korona adds additional production flexibility and sales potential in Europe and the US. We are making good progress with the formation of a globally operating group of companies. ”
About GALA Kerzen
The GALA Kerzen Group is one of the largest candle manufacturers with two production sites in Germany and Hungary. For more than 40 years, candles have been produced on state-of-the-art production facilities of the highest quality and, above all, marketed through established retail partners.
With about 500 employees, the GALA candles group processes about 30,000 tons of paraffin per year.
About Equistone Partners Europe
Equistone Partners Europe is one of the leading European equity investors with a team of more than 35 investment professionals in six offices in Germany, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom. Above all, Equistone invests in established medium-sized companies with good market positions, above-average growth potential and an enterprise value of between 50 and 500 million euros. Since its inception, equity has been invested in more than 140 transactions, mainly mid-market buyouts. The portfolio currently comprises more than 40 companies throughout Europe, including around 20 active participations in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Equistone is currently investing in its sixth fund, which closed in March 2018 with 2.8 billion euros on hardcap.
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