Mid Europa sells Serbian mineral water producer Knjaz Milos to KMV and PepsiCo

Mid Europa sells Serbian mineral water producer Knjaz Milos to KMV and PepsiCo
By bne IntelliNews June 6, 2019

Mid Europa Partners said it has agreed to sell Serbian mineral water producer Knjaz Milos to a joint venture between Karlovarske Mineralni Vody (KMV) and PepsiCo.

The private equity firm acquired Knjaz Milos in 2015 ac part of the acquisition of Danube Foods, which also gave it ownership of two other Serbian firms – dairy producer Imlek and confectioner Bambi. 

In an interview with bne IntelliNews back in 2015, Andrej Babache, the Mid Europa director who led the deal, stressed the value of the brands the firm had acquired in an interview with bne IntelliNews. “People have grown up with these brands, which are some of the most iconic in the region. In a UK context, these would be the equivalent of what, say, a Cadbury's is in chocolate," he said. 

“Following the acquisition and the appointment of a new management team, Knjaz Miloš, already a leading producer of mineral water, capitalised on the increased consumer demand for innovative hydration and drinks products, and emerged as the leader in these categories,” said Mid Europa in its June 6 press release. 

"Knjaz Miloš has introduced product and packaging innovations to strengthen its leadership in the water and drinks categories,” Babache said in a statement after the deal was announced. 

“The company's new and refreshed brands have led the way in direct digital communication with younger customers. This innovative growth has led to the business more than doubling in size during Mid Europa's ownership.”

The 2015 deal gave the businesses an enterprise value of just under €600mn. In February, Mid Europa sold Bambi to Coca-Cola HBC for €260mn. The firm has not disclosed the price for Knjaz Milos.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial adviser to Mid Europa for the transaction, White & Case, Dechert and Karanovic & Partners were the firm’s legal counsel and KPMG was transaction services adviser.

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