Welbilt Inc. (NYSE: WBT) is broadening the company's portfolio into commercial coffee equipment, while growing its international presence in Europe and Asia. The kitchen equipment provider has agreed to buy coffee machine maker Avaj International Holding AB, also known as Crem International, for about $224 million. Priveq Investment Fund IV LP and SEB Venture Capital are the sellers.

Solina, Sweden-based Crem, offers freestanding coffee and espresso machines that are used by offices, restaurants and coffee shops, convenience stores and catering companies. The target is known for the Coffee Queen, Expobar and Spengler brands, and generated about $90 million in sales in 2017.

"The acquisition of Crem International is the first step in realizing our ambition to complement our organic growth strategy with select bolt-on acquisitions,” says Welbilt CEO Hubertus Muehlhaeuser. “Crem expands our full-line of commercial foodservice equipment coverage by adding the fast-growing hot coffee category to our portfolio." Welbilt, headquartered in New Port Richey, Florida, sells kitchen equipment such as ovens and deep fryers under the Cleveland, Convotherm, Delfied, Frymaster and Kolpak brands.

Recent middle market deals in the foodservices space include: Windjammer Capital Investors' purchase of Heritage Food Service Group from the Jordan Co.; New Mountain Capital acquisition of Diversified Foodservice Supply Inc. from Denver private equity firm KRG Capital Partners and Vestar Capital's investment in Edward Don.

Crem International
Crem International
Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Assistant Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions and writes The Buyside column about corporate dealmaking, and also covers the consumer sector.