Frozen Food Latvia (FFL) engages in the distribution, marketing, and transportation of frozen food in Latvia. The company offers
Frozen Food Latvia approached SEAF in February 2000. The newly unified company needed financing in order to purchase additional equipment such as freezer stands and delivery vehicles, to acquire accounting software, and to obtain working capital for the purchase of its food products.
To help with the rapid expansion of the frozen food industry and the merger of the three companies, SEAF made an equity investment in FFL in July 2000 through its Baltics Small Equity Fund (BSEF). Over the next three years, SEAF made two additional equity investments in the company. Throughout SEAF’s investments, there remained significant market fragmentation, with 26 independent frozen food distributors serving a small but rapidly growing consumption level of frozen foods in Latvia.
With SEAF’s help, FFL expanded and integrated with a fourth Latvian distribution company. The company became the leading independent frozen food distributor in Latvia and a strategic partner for the manufacturers, regional suppliers, customers, and partners of the European Union. In 2004, FFL opened a new central logistics warehouse that was one of the most modern and largest cold storage units in the Baltics. By that time, FFL delivered products to more than 3,500 customers in Latvia and had more than 3,000 pieces of freezing equipment located in retailers all over Latvia.
By 2007, only seven years after SEAF’s initial investment, FFL’s sales increased more than ten-fold. The company was approaching 30% market share in frozen seafood distribution and approximately 25% market share in ice cream distribution in Latvia. In addition, FFL was quickly taking market share in the rapidly growing hotel, restaurant and catering sector.
A Completed Exit
In August 2007, 100% of FFL was sold to the Estonian company, Premia Tallinna Cold Storage. By the time of SEAF’s exit, FFL was the leading independent frozen food distributor in the country.