Unigrains Acquires Stake in Premium Vegetable Oil Company Huilerie Cauvin
French independent agri-food and agro-industry investor Unigrains has acquired a minority stake in Huilerie Cauvin (Cauvin), a French family-owned oil mill specializing in the production, packaging, and distribution of premium vegetable oils.
Undertaken at the behest of the company’s family shareholders, this transaction is happening at a point when Cauvin is embarking on a new stage in its development.
“With Unigrains, in the context of this first opening of our capital, we have found a financial and strategic partner who is both an expert in the agri-food industry and comprehensive of the complexities of a family owned company,” said Christian Port, president, Cauvin. “It is together and on the basis of our common values that we will implement this ambitious development plan for Cauvin in France and internationally.”
Founded in Saint-Gilles du Gard, France, in 1951 by the Filhol family, Cauvin has been led by Christian Port since 2018. The company has historically specialized in conventional and organic olive oil (accounting for about 30 percent of the business today), gradually diversifying into speciality oils including avocado, walnut, and hazelnut, and rare oils such as flax oil, sesame oil, hemp oil, argan oil, coconut oil, etc., as well as flavored oils.
Having grown to be a referenced supplier to major food retailers, Cauvin now has a presence with agri-food industrial, out-of-home dining, and cosmetics clients in France and abroad, generating sales of €50 million (US$49 million), of which about 20 percent are represented by exports.
“In a competitive market, Cauvin stands out for the quality of its products and its premium positioning, notably with large food retailers and in the organic segment,” commented Géraldine Salomon, investment manager, Unigrains. “Alongside Christian Port, the Filhol family, and their teams, Unigrains will bring its sector expertise and its networks in France and abroad in service of this growth project.”
With the extensive expertise and sector-specialized support of Unigrains, Cauvin intends to:
~ Strengthen the position of its national brand in France, as well as its standing with industrial agri-food and out-of-home dining clients through organic growth and targeted external growth opportunities.
~ Continue the development of its B2B activities in the cosmetics and industrial segments.
~ Having already seen success in China, continue to accelerate its international development by targeting new markets such as the United States and the Middle East.
The company also stated that it will continue to focus on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments that it set forth in 2016 through France’s PME+ Label - a standard created by the Federation of Enterprises and Entrepreneurs of France (FEEF) promoting beneficial corporate practices in social, societal, and environmental spheres.
The implementation of these pursuits focus around an Ethics Charter structured around four key axes of responsible approaches to: commercial relations, client consideration, societal ethics, and sustainable commitment.
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