After taking over France Champignon in 2004, Butler Capital Partners had embarked on a major modernisation plan (€60 m), of which the largest portion (€40 m) was for agricultural production. The cellars were replaced completely by ultramodern growing houses with computerised monitoring of hygrometry, ventilation and temperature.
Thanks to these investments, France Champignon made a comeback in terms of profitability as soon as 2007 (2008 operating income was 3.5%).
France Champignon has a workforce of 1500 employees and produces 130,000 tonnes of mushrooms in all forms (tinned, frozen, pasteurized or dehydrated) and of all kinds (button mushrooms and wild mushrooms) in six plants, including five in France, at Thouars (Deux Sèvres), Doué La Fontaine and Beaufort en Vallée (Maine et Loire), Falaise (Calvados) and Herm (Landes), and one in Poland at Ruchocice near Poznan. This industrial structure is in addition to that of Bonduelle, which operates 35 industrial sites worldwide.
Bonduelle’s expertise in these technologies, together with the strength of its brands and its international network, lead us to anticipate significant synergies that will ensure the development and long-term survival of the French subsidiary of processed mushrooms. To illustrate this point, take Germany by way of example: Bonduelle has been successfully marketing its brand and mushrooms produced by subcontractors in this country since 2009.
This acquisition remains contingent on the agreement of the competition authorities in France and Germany, to which the files were submitted at the beginning of January.
A specialist in vegetables in all their forms, Bonduelle now has an international presence in supermarkets and catering under its own brand names of Bonduelle, Cassegrain and Arctic Gardens, as well as under its clients' brands. Bonduelle's unique know-how enables it to preserve the flavour and nutritional quality of its products, making vegetables the future of food.