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Contraload announced a reshuffle of its shareholder group. The founders, along with D2E Capital and Gimv, are selling their interests to Tosca, an American supplier of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions.  The Contraload management team is re-investing in the group.  The acquisition of Contraload will expand Tosca’s geographic reach and increase its product portfolio. The combined company will offer customers a stronger value proposition through increased network density and an expanded product offering.  In conjunction with the transaction, funds advised by Apax Partners (the “Apax Funds”), which acquired Tosca in 2017, will commit additional capital to Tosca to fund the acquisition of Contraload.

Tosca                     Apax                    Contraload

Tosca to acquire Contraload NV

Acquisition expands Tosca’s capabilities to service entire supply chain – first mile through last mile delivery.  Addition of Contraload will enhance Tosca’s geographic and product diversification.

Atlanta, Georgia, June 29, 2020 – Tosca, an innovator in reusable packaging and supply chain solutions, announced today that it has agreed to acquire Contraload NV, a leader in plastic pallet pooling in the United Kingdom and European Union.

The acquisition of Contraload will expand Tosca’s geographic reach and increase its product portfolio. The combined company will offer customers a stronger value proposition through increased network density and an expanded product offering.

In conjunction with the transaction, funds advised by Apax Partners (the “Apax Funds”), which acquired Tosca in 2017, will commit additional capital to Tosca to fund the acquisition of Contraload. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Tosca has a 60-year history of innovation that has driven its growth into a leading North American provider of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions across a wide array of markets. Today, the company is the largest RPC pooler in North America, offering an enhanced product portfolio and the most extensive service center network for grocery retailers and suppliers. It employs more than 1,236 people and operates 29 service centers worldwide.

Headquartered in Aartselaar, Belgium, Contraload is a leading provider of upstream reusable plastic pallets and containers for the FMCG industry and other commercial markets in Europe. The company, which runs a unique Pan-European pooling service and employs more than 150 people, also offers outsourced pallet and layerpad conditioning and management services for customer-owned asset pools. Contraload was founded in 2004 and has approximately 3 million units in use, serving close to 3,000 companies.

Eric Frank, CEO of Tosca, stated: “Tosca’s acquisition of Contraload, a leader in plastic pallet pooling in the United Kingdom and European Union, establishes our combined company as an even stronger partner for our customers globally and allows us to continue to propel the reusable revolution.”

Jesse Sels, Contraload: Founder and Managing Director, said, “Having built Contraload into the leader in pooling plastic pallets, layerpads and IBCs in the B2B environment across Europe, we are excited to join with the Tosca team through this transaction. Our companies have a shared commitment to service excellence, innovation and reducing waste throughout the supply chain.”

Ashish Karandikar, Partner at Apax Partners, said: “Three years ago, we partnered with Tosca’s management team to build a world-class pooling business that brings sustainability, innovation and value to customers’ supply chains. The acquisition of Polymer in 2019 established Tosca’s ‘last mile’ capabilities in Europe. The combination with Contraload represents another important advance as it brings together Tosca’s last mile capabilities with Contraload’s offerings in the ‘first mile’ of a product journey – thereby creating unique visibility and value for customers. The combined organization offers a strong global network, an expanding reusables portfolio, improved research and development, and custom capability for all customers from CPGs to grocery chains.”

About Tosca
Tosca is a leading provider of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions across a diverse range of markets including eggs, case-ready meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and cheese. Our proven RPC system is a smarter way to move fresh product safely from source to shelf, substantially reducing shrink and labor cost, maintaining product quality, and optimizing overall supply chain efficiency for retailers, growers, and suppliers. Tosca recently acquired Polymer Logistics, expanding our geographic reach, product portfolio and R&D capabilities. For more information visit: www.toscaltd.com.

About Contraload
Contraload has grown to become the expert and market leader in pooling load carriers in a B2B environment, across Europe with service centers to support customers in over 15 countries.  Markets include food ingredients, food packaging, hygiene products, infant nutrition, beverage can and non-hazardous liquids.  Re-use is the key word as Contraload facilitates moving away from single use packaging towards a circular model of returning re-usable packaging.  For more information visit: www.contraload.com.

About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 40-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of approximately $50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.

Media Contacts
For Tosca
Susan Heil, Tosca I +1 920 569 5335 I sheil@toscaltd.com

For Contraload
Kevin Boone, +32 3 304 92 90, kevin.boone@contraload.com

For Apax Partners
USA Media: Todd Fogarty, Kekst CNC | +1 212 521 4854 | todd.fogarty@kekstcnc.com
UK and Global Media: Matthew Goodman / James Madsen, Greenbrook | +44 20 7952 2000 | apax@greenbrookpr.com

Notes to Editors
London-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.com), and Paris-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.fr) had a shared history but are separate, independent private equity firms.

Gimv                    D2E                    

Gimv, D2E and founders sell logistics service provider Contraload to Tosca, an American player in reusable packaging and supply chain solutions

Contraload announces today a reshuffle of its shareholder group. The founders, along with D2E Capital and Gimv, are selling their interests to Tosca, an American supplier of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions. The acquisition of Contraload will support Tosca in enlarging its international footprint and extending its product range.

Contraload (Aartselaar – BE, www.contraload.com) is the European market leader in the pooling of plastic pallets. The company operates in the rental and management of plastic cargo carriers, IBS, FLCs and layer pads for the professional market, as well as supplying support services such as transport, clearing and repair. In this way Contraload responds to the trend towards sustainable packaging devices, with maximum service for the customer.

In 2014, D2E Capital acquired an interest in Contraload, alongside founders Sylvain Naets and Jesse Sels, current CEO. In 2016, Gimv joined the shareholder group. With more than 20% annual organic growth, the company has developed a strong growth path over the past years, strengthening its sales team to increase its European footprint and ensure operational excellence. The expansion of the product range, among other things via the strategic acquisition of PLS in 2018 (pooling & cleaning layer pads), provided an additional growth element.

The company today employs 155 people and posted sales of EUR 46 million in 2019. Since its inception in 2004, Contraload has invested more than EUR 75 million in cargo carriers, and will soon manage over three million assets that provide services to around 800 customers via more than 4,000 collection points in Europe. This makes the company the market leader in a niche segment with great growth potential.

In the transaction announced today, Gimv, D2E as well as the founders are selling their holdings. North American company Tosca – which has been operating in innovative reusable packaging and supply chain solutions for 60 years already, with the Apax Funds as its reference shareholder – can with Contraload continue its pursuit of outstanding service, innovation and waste reduction right along the supply chain.

Jesse Sels, CEO Contraload on this transaction: “The demand from our customers is increasingly international and also more specific for well-defined solutions. Through the strong global network, the link with retailers and the financial power of Tosca/Apax, we can jointly develop a unique range that can take us to new heights with new innovative products and ambitious plans. We have had a great run with D2E Capital and Gimv and are now standing on a new starting line.

Arnaud Persyn, Principal at the Gimv Sustainable Cities platform: We are convinced that the acquisition by Tosca is the logical next step for Contraload. Both companies share a similar pooling DNA, with complementary product portfolios and geographical focus. Contraload’s sustainable, client-centered service showcases a successful example of the strategic vision of our Sustainable Cities platform. We would like to thank Jesse, team and D2E Capital for the collaborative partnership and vision, which have enabled us to realise this great journey.”

Alain Keppens, Partner Down2Earth Capital, on this transaction: “Contraload is a unique story of successful entrepreneurship. During our 6-year partnership with Jesse and his team, the company has quadrupled in size to become the absolute European market leader in its niche. For some time now, Contraload has been wanting to move into the North American market. Tosca/Apax is the ideal partner to roll out the business model there too. A big thank you to the entire Contraload team for the impressive ride together.”

For Gimv, the investment in Contraload was a very successful one, with a realized return well above the long-term average and with an added value of approximately EUR 30 million compared to the Net Asset Value as at 31 March 2020.

ABOUT GIMV
Gimv is a European investment company, listed on Euronext Brussels. With 40 years’ experience in private equity, Gimv currently has EUR 2 billion of assets under management. The portfolio contains around 50 portfolio companies, with combined turnover of EUR 2.5 billion and 14,000 employees.

As a recognized market leader in selected investment platforms, Gimv identifies entrepreneurial, innovative companies with high growth potential and supports them in their transformation into market leaders. Gimv’s four investment platforms are Connected Consumer, Health & Care, Smart Industries and Sustainable Cities. Each platform works with an experienced team across Gimv’s home markets of Benelux, France and DACH, supported by an extended international network of experts.  For more information: www.gimv.com

ABOUT Down2Earth Capital
Down2Earth Capital is an independent private equity fund, founded in 2013, with a focus on small and medium-sized transactions in Belgium. D2E Capital combines years of and successful private equity experience with top-level industrial expertise.  For more information: www.d2e.be

For further information please contact:
Arnaud Persyn, Principal in Gimv’s Sustainable Cities team – T +32 3 290 21 40 – arnaud.persyn@gimv.com
Alain Keppens, Partner Down2Earth Capital – T +32 495 59 72 64 – alain.keppens@d2e.be
Kevin Boone, Communications Manager Contraload – T +32 3 304 92 90 – kevin.boone@contraload.com

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