Louis François and Novax Ingredients enters exclusivity agreement for a long-term partnership

sep 12, 2022

Louis François, the French family-owned specialty premium ingredients company today announced that they have entered into an exclusivity agreement with long-term investor Novax Ingredients for the sale of a majority stake in the company.
Both groups envision a long-term partnership, with Louis François’ shareholder Jean-Claude François reinvesting into the jointly-owned Novax Ingredients group entity which would encompass Louis François and UK clean-label ingredient specialist Ulrick & Short.
The deal is awaiting regulatory approvals and is expected to finalize during the coming months

Louis François has a century-long history of developing and providing premium ingredients and solutions to its customers, with an unwavering commitment to quality, service and innovation to the benefit of its gastronomic clients and premium chefs. Having found a great partner and match in Novax, Louis François further sees great mutual potential in collaborating with Ulrick & Short – both companies are niche market leaders with specializations that complement another. Novax will further develop the Louis François brand in full respect of its heritage as prime supplier to the gastronomic sector, premium chefs and artisans.

Jean-Claude François, Louis François’ owner and third-generation of the Francois family, commented on the partnership:
In Novax, we have found a long-term partner sharing our values, vision and view on growing our business further. This alliance will preserve Louis François’ DNA,  history of our brand and our mission of serving the culinary gourmet sector, while supporting the company in the next phase of its journey. We are committed to ensure a smooth transition for all of our employees and stakeholders at large, and look forward to partnering with Novax and Ulrick & Short”  

Novax, a long-term investor and operating partner, is pleased to offer its commitment to together with the team build and expand Louis François over the years to come. Since Novax’ entry into specialty ingredients, marked by the inception of Novax Ingredients, they have been careful and selective in their search to partner with independent niche leaders with unique, competitive positions. Novax Ingredients is focused on developing clean, functional & sustainable ingredient solutions for the food industry, helping manufacturers solve process & development challenges through product reformulation – be it within improving nutritional profiles or enhancing overall product quality.

Pär Warnström, Head of Future of Food at Novax, said:
We are both proud and excited to partner up with Jean-Claude and the team at Louis François in this next chapter of their journey. Louis François illustrates the traits of a true market leader – a fundamentally strong and competitive niche position, an unparalleled brand recognition well-known for quality and service, and a strong and experienced management team. As a family-owned firm ourselves, we take pride in our unique position to honor family business values and look forward to working together with Jean-Claude and the team on growing Louis François further.

Louis François and the UK-based clean-label ingredient specialist Ulrick & Short share a commitment to deliver exceptional service to their customers through high-quality ingredients and solutions. By entering this partnership, the respective products, specializations and geographic complementarities of the two companies are expected to deliver significant synergies as the future of Louis François and Ulrick & Short are built.

Adrian Short, CEO and founder at Ulrick & Short, commented: “Since partnering with Novax in 2021, we have at Ulrick & Short made significant investments in organic growth, expanding our capabilities within product development, sales and marketing, paving way for long-term growth. I am confident that Louis François will benefit from similar long-term support as part of the Novax Ingredients family.“

About Louis François

Founded by Mr. Louis François in 1908, Louis François is a family-owned French developer of specialty, functional ingredients for gourmet pastry, chocolate, confectionaries and ice-cream premium artisans, culinary experts and food manufacturers. Louis François offers a portfolio of 300+ functional products, serving a diversified client portfolio worldwide composed of artisans, chefs and food producers. The company currently operates 2 sites in France (Croissy-Beaubourg and Jouy-sur-Morin), employing about 30 people.

About Novax

Novax AB (Novax) is a European long-term investor and operating partner. Novax is the investment company of the Stockholm-based, €10bn revenue Axel Johnson Group, founded in 1873 and owned & run by the 4th and 5th generation of the Swedish Johnson family. Building on a soon 150-year history, Novax partners up with companies in journeys sharing that long-term vision and view of building businesses – often being entrepreneur-led and family owned. Our commitment is to build and support leading and profitable businesses over the long haul.

About U&S

Ulrick & Short is a clean label, plant-based ingredient solutions provider. Founded in 2000 by Andrew Ulrick and Adrian Short, the company is today present in the UK and across Europe with sales offices in UK and in the Netherlands. Novax and Ulrick & Short partnered up in February 2021, setting off to together realize a shared vision to build a leading family of European ingredient companies. Adrian Short is the CEO of Ulrick & Short, with a continued shareholding in the company.

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