/ Case Study
Altios Leads Laboratoires Lehning’s Acquisition of Brazilian Company
When Laboratoires Lehning set its sights on Brazil as part of its global expansion, it sought Altios’ market knowledge and expertise in M&A to find the optimal in-country investment strategy.
Founded in 1935 and based in Sainte-Barbe, France, Laboratoires Lehning specialises in natural healthcare solutions for human and animal wellness. When the company set its sights on Brazil as part of its global expansion, it sought Altios’ market knowledge and expertise in M&A to find the optimal in-country investment strategy.
Laboratoires Lehning, based in Sainte-Barbe, France, specialises in natural healthcare solutions for human and animal wellness. Founded in 1935 by homoeopathy pioneer René Lehning, the company has since grown to annual sales of €56 million, with exports representing 50 per cent of its sales in more than 20 countries.
Over the years, the family-run business has been a key driver of the rise of natural medicines. Its innovations and successes in France have led to expansion through subsidiaries and partnerships worldwide.
To further drive sales, the company continues to expand its exports in new global markets and to move into new sectors within the natural healthcare industry.
To further its expansion efforts in the Americas and to strengthen its offering to the growing market of natural healthcare solutions for livestock, Laboratoires Lehning set its sights on Brazil.
Brazil is the second-largest beef producer in the world, with the U.S. being the largest. Due to public health concerns about the consequences of the use of antibiotics in livestock production, the market of natural substitutes is projected to grow in the coming years.
Laboratoires Lehning determined that the market in Brazil would strengthen its leadership in natural healthcare solutions for human and animal wellness and provide sourcing of high-quality raw ingredients due to the country’s biodiversity.
To determine the best entry-point into the Brazilian market, the company looked to Altios due to the firm’s on-the-ground presence in the market and their expertise in mergers and acquisitions.
To meet Laboratoires Lehning’s ambitious growth strategy and time-to-market requirement, Altios conducted a strategic analysis to determine the best investment direction for the company.
“An M&A was ultimately the best strategy to meet Laboratoires Lehning’s goals,” said Didier Koch, Managing Director of Altios Brazil. “The strong alignment in values and culture not only made sense for a merger, but allowed Lehning to reach its goals faster by acquiring an experienced team, efficient manufacturing plants, an established customer base, and access to the extraordinary biodiversity of the Brazilian Amazon,” added Koch.
Altios conducted an M&A search to determine the best match for Laboratoires Lehning, which would allow the company to expand quickly in the market while preserving the company’s high standards of quality.
Following a thorough M&A analysis, Laboratoires Lehning and Altios began negotiations with Apis Flora. Founded in 1982, Apis Flora specialises in healthcare products for humans and animals based on propolis, honey and medicinal plant extracts. The company’s focus on quality and holistic approach made Apis Flora and Laboratoires Lehning a perfect fit.
The acquisition provided Laboratoires Lehning access to Apis Flora’s three high-performance production facilities in Brazil, and the company’s pioneering and innovative savoir-faire in honeybee-based products.
To ensure a smooth transition for both companies, Altios provided support during the negotiations and the post-acquisition phase of the agreement.
Maintaining employee support and goodwill were extremely important to Laboratoires Lehning during the negotiation phase. “Altios assured all were onboard by helping communicate the values and culture of Laboratoires Lehning,” said Stephane Lehning, president of Laboratoires Lehning and grandson of René Lehning.
“Altios’ knowledge of the local culture helped us determine what was most important to the founders and employees of Apis Flora. These types of negotiations take time, and by having an intermediary like Altios to help us stay on course and build trust throughout the merger was essential,” continued Lehning.
Once the acquisition was completed, talent retention was a critically vital part of the acquisition’s success.
“It was important that the employees of Apis Flora understood our company’s values and culture,” said Lehning. “Our continual communications and discussions with employees of Apis Flora were an instrumental factor in the overall completion of the acquisition.”
To further ensure success, Altios provided post-acquisition integration support services. This support included being the critical link between the Brazilian company and Laboratoires Lehning’s headquarters in France.
To ensure a smooth transition, Altios’ managing director of its office in Brazil co-managed the newly acquired entity to bridge the management teams of the parent company and Apis Flora.
“Altios helped us better understand the cultural aspects of expanding our presence in the market. It became evident during the project that building trust and proximity were critical factors to success,” said Lehning.
Throughout the acquisition process, maintaining a dialogue which respected the cultural differences was essential and was one of the defining factors to the successful merger. “We learned the importance of team spirit and of working together for Brazilians. By being attentive to these subtle but important concerns, we were able to gain their trust,” continued Lehning.
The successful acquisition has provided to both entities a stronger global presence and expanded the market reach of their respective products.
Altios helped us better understand the cultural aspects of expanding our presence in the market.
/ Laboratoires Lehning is a natural healthcare company.
/ The French company’s products are distributed in 20 countries.
/ Lehning saw Brazil as a new market to grow its sales and source raw materials.
/ The company sought outside counsel to determine an optimal expansion strategy.
/ Altios conducted an M&A search and assisted in the acquisition of Apis Flora.
/ Altios Brazil managed transition and co-management of the acquired company.
/ The successful acquisition strengthened global presence and international sales of joint product offerings