JHB was created by Litorina in cooperation with entrepreneurs in 2018 through a partnership between Bergfalk and Johan i Hallen. The initial platform was followed by further bolt-on acquisitions in Sweden and Finland. JHB serves the markets through its local brands and is a leading Swedish specialist provider of fresh proteins such as meat, fish and seafood primarily to Hotel, Restaurant & Café (“HoReCa”) segment, but also to selective retailers. Apart from a leading position in Sweden, the company has an expanding foothold in the Finnish market. In 2022, JHB generated revenue of SEK 2bn with market leading margins. During the Litorina ownership, sales have quadrupled through five acquisitions and strong organic growth.
The investment in JHB is a great example of Litorina’s core investment strategy in buy & build within business services. JHB was created with a clear vision of leveraging the strengths of the acquired companies to build a specialist in fresh protein with expertise in meat, fish and seafood combined with a strong commercial mindset and high degree of service to its customers. In addition, significant investments in own production have enabled JHB to deliver value to its customers through bespoke products and achieve best-in-class margins.
Lars Verneholt, Managing Partner at Litorina, comments “When we created Johan i Hallen & Bergfalk in 2018, we saw a clear opportunity to consolidate a fragmented market and gather the expertise of several high-quality companies in the sector to create a leading specialist provider of fresh proteins. During Litorina’s ownership, we grew JHB from the initial platform with c. SEK 0.5bn in revenue to SEK 2bn in 2022 through further add-ons and organic growth. The sale of JHB also marks the first exit for Litorina V, which is an important milestone for the fund, and I am pleased with the return this investment delivers to our investors.”
“We are very proud of the team at JHB, that under the leadership of CEO Andreas Göthberg has really taken the company to the next level in operational excellence. We believe JHB has a unique position in the market, with a customer-centric and agile operating model with closeness to its customers, while offering a wide and deep assortment of fresh proteins. Under the ownership of METRO, JHB has the opportunity to continue the journey in the Nordics and really cement its position as a market leading specialist.”, continues Lars Verneholt.
“After supporting Litorina as an industrial advisor in connection with the creation of JHB in 2018, I joined JHB as the CEO in 2020, which was in the beginning of the Covid-pandemic. It was a challenging time for the HoReCa-sector, but also presented an opportunity to implement significant changes in the group to really capture the potential. We created a one brand identity of JHB underpinned by a joint culture, continued our focus on customer development and invested in our production capabilities”, says Andreas Göthberg, CEO of JHB. “I believe JHB is now stronger than ever, much thanks to our more than 350 very dedicated employees who every day go beyond their way to provide high level of service and top-quality products to our 4,000+ customers. I am grateful to Litorina for the great journey to create JHB, and at the same time very excited for the joint future with METRO.”
The closing of the transaction is expected in mid-May 2023.
Lincoln, Vinge, and PwC were the advisors to the sellers in the transaction.