Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC/ONE) has announced an agreement to acquire Zobele Group, a global innovator and manufacturer of home and air care products.
Founded in Italy in 1919, Zobele has two innovation hubs, five design and development centers, and seven state-of-the-art facilities across the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It serves 130 customers and provides an international offering and service to more than 150 leading brands in the fastest-growing household categories.
Backed by Cornell Capital, which acquired KDC/ONE in December 2018 with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Investissement Québec and HarbourVest Partners, KDC/ONE has expanded its technology base and expertise.
KDC/ONE’s strategic acquisition of Zobele will further enhance its global platform across beauty, personal care and household products to provide its customers with best-in-class innovation and manufacturing capabilities.
With a shared commitment to operational excellence, innovation and client service, KDC/ONE and Zobele are dedicated partners to their customers, and the combination is expected to immediately enhance customer offerings.
Following the close of the transaction, Zobele CEO Roberto Schianchi and the current management team will continue to run the Zobele business under the KDC/ONE umbrella, and Zobele’s headquarters will remain in Italy.
Financing for the transaction will include significant equity reinvestment from Cornell Capital and CDPQ, as well as from the other existing investors. UBS Securities LLC and Jefferies LLC are acting as joint lead arrangers for the transaction, with UBS as the left lead arranger.
Specific financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close later this year.
Jefferies Group LLC is acting as financial advisor to KDC/ONE and Cornell Capital, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as legal advisor. Guggenheim Securities, LLC is acting as financial advisor to Zobele Group, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal advisor.
“As a market leader in its categories, Zobele is the right partner for us as we look to embark on our next chapter of strategic growth,” Nicholas Whitley, president and CEO of KDC/ONE, said. “With a truly scaled international footprint and customer base, the combined company will drive unparalleled innovation for our partners and significant expansion into key geographic and end markets. We look forward to working closely with Zobele’s visionary management team to capitalize on the many growth opportunities ahead.”
“We are excited to announce this transformative combination with KDC/ONE,” Zobele CEO Roberto Schianchi said. “We look forward to collaborating with KDC/ONE to provide best-in-class services and high-quality products to our customers. Together with KDC/ONE, we are confident that we will be able to advance our shared goal of creating cutting-edge products and technologies at scale while using the best of our combined industrial footprint.”
“Since our initial investment in 2014, KDC/ONE has made a series of complementary international acquisitions, allowing the company to grow and diversify while consolidating its position as one of the most innovative manufacturers in the world,” Charles Emond, president and CEO of CDPQ, said. “Today, this Québec company is a true global leader, and CDPQ is pleased to continue supporting it.”