Since 2004, Atlas Advisors has advised Tele Atlas N.V., a leader in digital mapping, in expanding its global position through a series of value-creating transactions: the strategic acquisition of GDT simultaneously with a capital raising, a listing on the Euronext that created significant liquidity and attracted world-class investors, and finally its sale to TomTom, the global leader in GPS products. Tele Atlas’ stock price has increased almost eight-fold from €4.00 per share (30 days prior to the announcement of the strategic acquisition of GDT) to €30.00 per share at the time of the sale to TomTom, announced in November 2007.
Building long-lasting relationships with clients
Testimony to the strength of the Atlas Advisors’ approach to clients is the number of long-term relationships we have built through many years and several transactions. Clients consistently retain Atlas Advisors for multiple advisory assignments, offering us the opportunity to add long-term value to companies and their shareholders.
Between 2001 and 2007, Atlas Advisors’ principals helped Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the maker of Arm & Hammer® products and other branded consumer items, form a unique corporate-sponsor joint venture with private equity firm Kelso & Co. The purpose of the joint venture was to acquire Carter Wallace’s consumer products business, including brands such as Trojan condoms and First Response pregnancy tests, as part of Church & Dwight’s long-term strategy to build businesses around market-leading brands. The transaction structure allowed Church & Dwight to acquire this strategically important asset using minimal equity financing so as not to dilute existing shareholders. In 2004, Atlas Advisors advised Church & Dwight on the acquisition of Kelso’s stake in the joint venture. In 2006, Church & Dwight’s franchise was further strengthened by the acquisition of Orange Glo International, Inc., a market-leading U.S. laundry additive business. These strategic transactions led to an increase in sales from approximately $1.0 billion to $2.2 billion and market capitalization from $1.0 billion to $3.6 billion, respectively.
Since 2004, Atlas Advisors has worked closely with Groupe Danone, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the world, to expand its core franchise globally through several acquisitions and streamline its product portfolio by divesting non-core businesses. The transactions have included the creation of a biscuit joint venture in Latin America, the divestitures of its two North American Home and Office Delivery water businesses as well as of its bottled water business in Canada, the divestiture of certain yogurt brands in the U.S. deemed to be non-core, and two acquisitions in the high-growth global nutrition market. Atlas Advisors’ advice has enabled Danone to advance its leading positions in healthy food through four businesses: Fresh Dairy Products, Baby Nutrition, Bottled Water, and Medical Nutrition, producing annual sales of more than €19 billion.
Between 2004 and 2007, Atlas Advisors advised Kelso & Co. regarding a portfolio company with strong consumer brands through a complete investment cycle: from the acquisition of Del Labs, through operational improvement, to a profitable exit which benefited both the firm and the portfolio of brands sold. When Kelso decided to exit, Atlas Advisors conducted a unique dual-track sale process creating price tension between the possibilities of IPO-ing the business versus a sale of the business to prospective potential acquirers. Press reports have valued the transaction at approximately $800 million. The investment exit through the sales process generated a return of almost 300% over a three-year period.
For more than a decade, Atlas Advisors has worked closely with Grupo Bimbo, the largest baking company in the world, on developing a corporate finance strategy to achieve its long-term growth objectives. Atlas Advisors advised Bimbo on the acquisitions of both the U.S. fresh bakery business of George Weston Limited and the North American Sara Lee fresh bakery businesses. In 2012, Bimbo also acquired the Sara Lee fresh bakery business in Spain, reuniting the Bimbo brand globally. Through these transactions, Atlas Advisors has helped Bimbo gain the number one position in the fresh baked goods industry in North America and solidify its global leadership.