PAI’s Frédéric Stévenin on food inflation and Nestlé joint venture; Ambienta in education deal

Ambienta has acquired Gruppo Spaggiari Parma, a developer of software products for the dematerialisation and digitalisation of school activities.

Top of the menu today we’re taking a deep dive into PAI Partners’ recent hook-up with Nestlé to launch a frozen pizza joint venture. Nina Lindholm gets the details on the deal from PAI managing partner Frédéric Stévenin, as well as his thoughts on the wider food sector.

Next we have some updates on take-private bids involving Silver Lake and Cap10, before we have a deal in the education tech sector by Ambienta.

We then finish with some people news at Sovereign Capital Partners and Great Hill Partners.

Pizza the action

We’ve noticed that deals in the food sector have been picking up this year, so it seemed like a great time to take a deeper look at one of those recent transactions.

Nina Lindholm spoke to PAI Partners managing partner Frédéric Stévenin about the private equity firm’s new joint venture with Nestlé, which will form a business based on the latter’s frozen pizza offering.

The move came despite decades-long highs in inflation over the last few months, including in food prices.

“Looking at the deals we’ve seen recently, there haven’t been deals in consumer durables, which is impacted by the current prices,” said Stévenin. “But you’ve seen people buying into the stability of the sector.”

Food’s position as a consumer staple is another reason Paris-based PAI believes in the sector. “In certain circumstances, consumers will trade down in food,” Stévenin explained. “They will move from a premium brand to a less premium brand, but they will still consume.

“Food as a sector is exposed to inflation but has the means of passing the prices to the consumer, with some lag.”

Read the full article to learn about PAI’s plans for the frozen pizza business.

Offer open

Silver Lake started the tender offer for its takeover of listed German tech company Software AG yesterday. The offer has a minimum acceptance threshold of 50 percent plus one share. Silver Lake said it had already secured 30.1 percent of Software AG’s shares and has an option to convert €344 million of bonds into shares, representing another 10 percent.

The private equity firm’s offer has the support from the board, independent takeover committee, and the Software AG Foundation, the largest shareholder in the target.

Bain Capital has made a competing offer for the company that has the support of at least one other shareholder. You can read more on that, as well as the details on both private equity firms’ bids, in our coverage here.

Sure thing

In other take-private news, Sureserve, a UK provider of social housing energy services, released a timetable for its take-private by private equity firm Cap10. A shareholder vote will take place on 9 June.

You can read details on the bid here.


Ambienta has acquired Gruppo Spaggiari Parma, a developer of software products for the dematerialisation and digitalisation of school activities.

Spaggiari is based in Parma, Italy.

“It is the ideal platform to start a journey aimed at further promoting the digitalisation of schools and ultimately making education increasingly more sustainable,” said Giancarlo Beraudo, partner at Ambienta.

For more on the education sector, check out our coverage yesterday of Oakley Capital and IU Group.


Sovereign Capital Partners has promoted James Buckhalter and Peter Eckersley to investment director level.

Buckhalter joined Sovereign as an investment executive from Monitor Deloitte and became an investment manager in 2022. He focuses on the financial and professional services sectors and played a role in Sovereign’s investment in LB Group.

Eckersley, who joined the firm in 2020 from Fenchurch Advisory Partners. He supported Sovereign’s investment in Skerritts, and also the purchase of a majority stake in LB Group.

Sovereign also promoted Tom Wilding as investment manager. Wilding supports investment activities with a compliance, cybersecurity, data analytics and consultancy focus in the UK and European markets. He joined the firm from La Fosse Associates.

London push

Great Hill Partners, which opened its London office in March to support its investment activity in the UK and Europe, has been adding to that team.

Mats Heimes joins Great Hill as a vice-president from Summit Partners where he was a VP on the technology team. He began his career as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in the firm’s consumer retail, healthcare, and real estate group.

Chris Wilson also joins as a vice-president from Financial Technology Partners, where he was most recently a director.

Great Hill also appointed Erik Kreukniet as an associate.