Charles & Alice Group
Charles & Alice Group is a leading French manufacturer and distributor of fruit products and plant-based desserts.
Equistone exited its Fund IV majority stake in Charles & Alice Group in July 2021 and reinvested in a minority position through its dedicated Reinvestment Fund alongside long-term shareholder, Crédit Mutuel Equity.
Since it was launched in 2011, Charles & Alice Group has grown into a market leader in chilled ‘no-sugar added’ fruit products and plant-based desserts.
The group distributes both branded and private label products to retail chains in Europe, North Africa and the US, as well as the French food service segment.
Headquartered in Southeast France, Charles & Alice Group employs over 500 people and has two production sites close to its fruit orchards, along with a greenfield manufacturing site in Pennsylvania in the US.
During Fund IV’s hold period, Equistone has worked in partnership with Charles & Alice Group to develop its brand presence through marketing initiatives and innovative product launches as well as supporting the group’s plans for international expansion.
In 2015, the group expanded its geographic footprint by investing in a greenfield manufacturing site in Pennsylvania to serve the US market. Primarily, the plant provides private label products to US retail chains.
Additional organic growth has been achieved through the launch of several new initiatives to expand its branded product range, and in 2019 Charles & Alice Group acquired a minority share in Happy Coco, a Netherlands-based vegan products specialist.
In 2021, the group built a new production site in France to improve efficiency and expand production capacity to meet customers’ increased demand.
During the Fund IV investment period, the group demonstrated strong revenue growth, with turnover increased from €120m in 2013 to €161m for the financial year ending 31 December 2020.
The Group has become one of the leading French manufacturers and distributors of fruit compotes and desserts and we are convinced that Charles & Alice is well positioned to continue to consolidate its leadership position in the future.