Clearwater International advises the shareholders of Markal on its sale to Lionel Wolberg backed by FrenchFood Capital

Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of Markal, a leading organic manufacturer and distributor of grocery products, on its sale to Lionel Wolberg backed by FrenchFood Capital.

Established in 1936 by Georges Markarian and located in the heart of Drôme, Markal is an iconic French leader in the manufacture and distribution of more than 1,000 organic dry grocery products, which has strongly contributed to the democratisation of organic products. With 70 employees in France and a production, packaging and logistics site, it generates revenue of €68m, 15% of which being export sales that come from markets across 40 countries.

The family-owned business has always been dedicated to rigorously selecting its supply chain and has built long-term and high-quality relationships with suppliers. Markal has also played an important role in the conversion of multiple farms, to support local organic production. To ensure better control of the quality and conservation of its products, Markal has invested significantly in the development of innovative processing and packaging tools. Its products are distributed in bulk or packaged by organic retailers and are also sold to the food industry, catering companies and through e-commerce in France and abroad. It follows a committed CSR and circular economy approach through energy reduction, waste-heat recycling, solar energy and food recycling.

After having significantly accelerated the growth of Markal since 2012, Franck and Olivier Markarian the grandchildren of the founder of Markal planned a desired and organised transition in order to continue the development of Markal and its mission for ever healthier certified food. The Markarian family has chosen to remain shareholders of the French company while entrusting Lionel Wolberg the leadership.

Capitalising on its previous success, Lionel Wolberg intends to preserve the 80 years of recognised know-how and pursue the development of lasting relationships with producers, based on loyalty, high standards, and solidarity. In order to meet organic market expectations in the coming years, numerous strategic initiatives will be developed on the agronomic side by the cultivation of new varieties and support for partner producers, with a fair distribution of value. The acceleration of the innovation process in new categories with high nutritional value will also be initiated. Already present in almost 100% of organic retailers directly or through regional wholesalers, the development and distribution of additional brands will be strengthened.

Lionel Wolberg will be able to rely on expert investors who have agreed to support him in this new adventure, namely: FrenchFood Capital, BPI France and Tikehau. These committed financial players will allow Markal to develop with a presence of the brand in all the specialised organic networks.