Avallon leaves Ceko. The fund has sold the company to one of the dairy industry leaders

Avallon MBO, a Polish private equity fund specializing in management buyouts, has sold its shares in Ceko. Their acquisition was one of the first MBI (Manager Buy-in) transactions on the Polish market, which members of the company's management board participated in step by step alongside Avallon. In the course of cooperation, they managed to significantly develop the company and strengthen its market potential in the category of high-quality hard cheeses, and to achieve a leading position among domestic producers of mozzarella cheese. At that time, Ceko also focused on promoting its new, own brand - Cheeses from Goliszewo, which are highly appreciated especially by consumers who focus on high-quality products. 

The buyer of the company is Polmlek, one of the leaders in the dairy industry in Poland.

- When, together with the managers, we were taking over the shares in Ceko together, we were dealing with a small, family-owned company with a flat management structure. Thanks to some changes introduced from the first days after joining the company, e.g. in the area of ​​controlling, and having conducted a detailed analysis of its functioning, it was possible to identify potential directions for further development. As a result, the company focused on creating a high-quality brand of  Cheeses from Goliszewo, and also strengthened the existing brands of ripening cheeses, making them even more successfu, such as: Boryna, Jagna and Antek. This was quite an innovative marketing strategy among domestic cheese producers, where the promoted brand is usually the very name of the dairy. Thanks to the flexible production system, the company has also managed to develop the potential of contractual cooperation - says Marcin Konarski, partner at Avallon MBO.

Thanks to a number of significant investments, the company has widely modernized its machinery park. Now the shares in Ceko are taken over by the Polmlek group, and Avallon, upon selling the company to the industry investor, exits the investment, monetizing its development with profit.

- Building a brand is a difficult and long-term process. It is not easy, especially in the case of private equity funds, which often have a very limited time horizon for their investments. Fortunately, this was not the case with Avallon. We are glad that the fund trusted us and implemented a number of investments with us,  the effects of which are clearly visible today in the shape and condition of our company. Owing to the introduction and promotion of the brand  od Cheeses from Goliszewo, we have managed to establish a stronger position in the industry retail segment. We have significantly broadened our entire product offer with more popuylar products that meet the current needs of consumers, such as sliced ​​cheeses, low-weight cheeses or Piórko cheese with the lowest fat content on the market - says Dariusz Zieliński, the CEO of Ceko. - Moreover, what is extremely important for us,  Avallon left Ceko having now the new prospect of further dynamic development in the capital group with a strong position on the market - he adds.

 The Ceko company was established in 1990 as a private enterprise. Compared to other especially large dairies, Ceko is a plant with a relatively small scale of production, which means that it is capable of controlling and observing the quality of its products very closely. It produces maturing cheeses according to traditional Polish recipes. The company has also created a series of cheeses based on recipes borrowed from various cuisines of the world, such as mimmolle, butterkäse, mozzarella or ricotta. It is also one of the leading Polish cheese suppliers for the gastronomy sector.

After leaving Ceko, there are currently seven companies in Avallon's portfolio, including Norlys - a producer of lighting equipment, Clovin - a company dealing in the production of cleaning products, a producer of juices and drinks Wosana, Stangl Technik - a company providing installation services, EDC Expert Direct Communication - a direct marketing company, Marketplanet - a purchasing platform and Novo Tech - an enterprise dealing with polymer processing.