Monday, October 2, 2023

Marel to acquire Wenger Mfg. LLC

Photo: Wenger Manufacturing LLC

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BOXMEER, Netherlands — Marel has announced an agreement to acquire Wenger Manufacturing LLC, a global leader in processing solutions focused on pet food, plant-based proteins, and aqua feed. The acquisition of Wenger is a platform investment into new, complementary, and attractive growth markets for Marel and will form the fourth business segment alongside poultry, meat and fish, the company added.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions such as anti-trust and approval of Wenger’s shareholders.

Founded in 1935, Wenger has 500 employees and revenues in 2022 are expected to be $190 million. Total investment for the acquisition is $540 million.

Marel notes that the acquisition is fully in line with its 2017-2026 growth strategy which targets 12 percent average annual increase in revenue through a balanced mix of organic and acquired growth.

A new business segment, based on the Wenger platform, will constitute Marel’s fourth pillar alongside poultry, meat and fish, and will be focused on the sizeable markets of pet food, plant-based proteins and aqua feed. On a pro-forma basis, this new business segment will account for around 10 percent of Marel’s total revenues and 12 percent of combined EBITDA.

Marel added that the two companies have a great strategic and cultural fit with highly complementary product portfolios and geographic presence, creating a strong platform to enhance further growth.

The global pet food and aqua feed markets are estimated at more than 100 billion euro and 50 billion euro, respectively, and growing at 5 percent to 6 percent annually. The plant-based protein market is currently around 7 billion euro and expected to grow 15 percent to 20 percent annually, the company noted.

Marel has agreed to acquire Wenger, including all relevant business activities of the group. The total investment for the acquisition is $540 million, of which $530 million is the purchase price on a cash and debt-free basis (enterprise value). The remaining $10 million is a combination of a contribution to a not-for-profit private foundation, to continue the legacy of Wenger and its impact on the community, as well as Marel shares for Wenger employees, the companies note.

The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including anti-trust and shareholder approval of Wenger, which is expected to take place during the second quarter 2022.

“We are thrilled to join forces with the great team in Wenger with whom we have a strong strategic and cultural fit,” Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO of Marel, said. “Wenger’s passion for innovation and commitment to high-quality solutions, in addition to their excellent customer focus and talent management, are the key attributes Marel is proud to partner with. Wenger is a true leader in its field of providing solutions and services to the pet food industry and aqua feed industries and has in recent years made its mark on the fast-growing plant-based protein consumer market with best-in-class solutions positioned right in the center point of the value chain.”

“The Wenger acquisition is in line with our vison of a world where food is produced sustainably and affordably,” Thordarson said. “Throughout the years, Marel has gradually expanded its playing field. This platform acquisition will add the fourth business segment to our business model, in addition to the poultry, meat and fish segments, where we are a global leader in processing solutions, services and software. On a proforma basis, the new segment will account for around 10 percent of revenues and 12 percent of combined EBITDA. We see immediate opportunities for growth and value creation by leveraging Marel’s global reach and digital platforms in Wenger’s sizable addressable markets. The two companies have complementary technologies and a product portfolio that will accelerate the journey to become full-line providers in the respective fields.

“Marel has a strong financial position to pursue future growth avenues and a proven track record in driving long-term value creation. I am confident Marel will be a good steward for the Wenger business, its talented team and continued local community engagement, and we remain committed to our continued future success.”

“Wenger has a long history as an innovative, responsive partner to our customers,” said Trevor Angell, chairman of the Board of Directors of Wenger. “The relationships we have built, and the incredible character of our people are central to this. Our long-standing customers worldwide are looking for a trusted partner and local support to keep their operations running at optimal performance. Marel has invested significantly in its global reach and digital platform, which will improve Wenger’s ability to be the partner of choice for our clients throughout the long life-cycle of our equipment. Further, our dedicated team will be joining a large, healthy, international organization where they can grow and see increased opportunities.”

“During our interaction, it was apparent that there is great strategic and cultural alignment between Wenger and Marel,” Angell added. “Our shared values and vision, our care for customers and employees, and the combined technical strengths of the two companies will create tremendous value in global food production.  We are pleased to be joining forces with Marel, and we are excited for the opportunities our friends and teammates will experience.”

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