A leading processor of ketchup, canned vegetables and vegetable-based sauces based in Poland.
In the early 1990s most of the food processing sector in Poland was available for privatization and in
need of capital and management expertise. One of LaSalle’s partners identified Pudliszki as an attractive
opportunity due to its strong local brand name and reputation for quality. A deal was negotiated with the Polish government to privatize the company.
At this time Eastern Europe was an attractive emerging market for western investment, thus there was
an opportunity to purchase assets relatively cheaply, improve the operations and sell to strategic
buyers. Given the quality and reputation of the Pudliszki product line and brand, the Company
appeared well-positioned to attract western strategic buyer interest if it was under private ownership.
Numerous changes were implemented at the Company to drive growth and increase profitability,
including refocusing distribution on large growth accounts, purchasing new machinery and equipment
to upgrade quality and efficiency, unifying and modernizing product packaging, refocusing the product
assortment on a smaller core group of products and completing a waste water treatment facility to bring
the Company into compliance with pending EU environmental standards. In addition, the management
team was strengthened with the addition of a new CFO and a group of mid-level operating managers.
After completing the restructuring, Pudliszki was able to more than triple sales and increased
profitability by over 10 times, thus attracting the interest of several foreign strategic buyers. Through a
limited auction the Company was sold to H. J. Heinz.
Privatization of foreign food processing business
Facility upgraded with new equipment and systems
Tripled sales and increased EBITDA 10x
Invested in 1994, Realized 1997