Wealth & Finance International - Business Awards 2016

Business Awards 2016 20 Sweet Production Company of the Year 2016 - Germany Katjes International GmbH, part of the Katjes Group, is a strategic advisor, supporting the firm’s work in the confectionary market. We invited Managing Shareholder Tobias Bachmüller to tell us more. Company: Katjes International Name: Tobias Bachmüller, Managing Shareholder, Katjes International Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.katjes-international.de Address: Dechant-Sprünken-Str. 53-57, 46446 Emmerich, Germany Telephone: +49 (0) 2822/ 601-700 Please tell me about Katjes International, the work you do and your overall strategy. Tobias: “Katjes International GmbH & Co. KG together with its legally independent sister company Katjes Fassin GmbH + Co. KG, is part of the Katjes Group. Katjes International is a strategic holding with participations in companies operating in Western Europe and focusing on the sugar confectionery market. “As a strategic investor we pursue a buy-and-hold-strategy with a long-term view. The goal is to leverage synergy effects within our group, increase the operating performance, further develop and strengthen our brands and support our participations in entering new markets. In addition, we aim to use cross-selling potential across our group in areas like product development and sales. Through the implementation of this strategy we create long-term value, sustainable growth and further strengthen our well-known brands.” Talk me through the confectionary market currently. How is your firm adapting around the latest developments? Tobias: “The confectionery market in general is characterised by its resilience and non-cyclicality. Even during the last financial crisis our market showed a very stable development. Nevertheless, there is an active consolidation process in our market, which we actively take part in. For example, in 2016 we successfully bought the remaining 50% stake of the Dutch liquorice producer Festivaldi, the best-selling liquorice product in the Netherlands by volume. Secondly, we address the increasing demand for sustainably produced products through continuous developments of our processes and product portfolio.” Why do you focus on the Western European market? Are there any key factors which led to your specialising in operating in this region? Tobias: “Katjes International is the second largest producer of sugar confectionery products in Europe. We focus on the sugar confectionery market in Western Europe for a number of reasons. First of all, sugar confectionery has been the core of our business since the foundation and as a strategic investor we focus on what we know and what we do best. This allows us to minimize risks within our strategy to grow through acquisitions. Secondly, Western Europe represents approximately two thirds of the population, 70% of the GDP and 70% of the confectionery market of the EU. Hence, it is a very large market offering sufficient opportunities for further growth. Thirdly, operating mainly in the single currency Euro area removes foreign currency risks from our business and provides a familiar legal framework for our operations.” What differentiates your firm from your competitors and marks you out as the best option for your targets? Tobias: “As a family-owned company we have higher flexibility compared to other corporations. This allows us – together with our lean management structure – to take fast decisions when needed. We take a comprehensive look into each target to ensure that it fits into our strategy. As a family-owned company, we also believe in our policy to continue an acquired business with existing local management in order to limit business disruptions and provide stability both for the employees and our clients to ensure long-term success. Another important factor is our success and our market position. We have a strong M&A track record making us one of the most acquisitive companies in our industry by number of successfully closed transactions.” Operating in such a dynamic industry, how do you ensure that you remain at the forefront of emerging developments? Tobias: “The most important factor in this context is that we are an investor with a clear strategy focussing on established brands in specific markets. With our highly experienced management team we are able to identify interesting acquisition targets, followed by a comprehensive examination by the experts of our group and advisors. We are also constantly seeking to improve our own processes, detecting opportunities for innovation within our own companies and analysing any possible future developments in order to stay ahead of things.” BU160007

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