French bakery equipment giant expands bagel knowhow with majority stakeholding in Canadian-based ABI

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mecatherm and ABI will continue to innovate around the 'bakery of the future'. Pic: Mecatherm
Mecatherm and ABI will continue to innovate around the 'bakery of the future'. Pic: Mecatherm

Related tags: Mecatherm, ABI, bakery equipment, bagels, Unigrains, TMG

TMG – the owner of industrial baking equipment producer Mecatherm – has acquired a majority stake in ABI Auto-Bake Industries for an undisclosed amount.

Toronto-headquartered ABI is a leading Canadian designer, manufacturer and integrator of industrial baking equipment. The company is specifically noted for its bagel and pretzel production equipment (make-up & baking), its robotic solutions, and its automation equipment (rack loading & unloading and pan & board management systems.

Led by cofounder and CEO Alex Kuperman, ABI posts annual sales of around CA$20m and has a workforce of nearly 80 people.

The move – backed by agri-food and agro-industry investor Unigrains, which acquired a majority stake in Mecatherm in 2018 – strengthens the international footprint of both companies and expand their product offerings  for medium to large-sized industrial bakers.

Together, the duo now offers a complete end-to-end bagel line, while many of ABI’s products can be seamlessly integrated into Mecatherm’s offerings.

With annual sales of more than €100m – 90% of which is outside France – Mecatherm develops and installs ovens, machines and automated production lines for fresh or frozen, cooked or pre-cooked breads, cakes and pastries for clients around the world. The company operates two facilities in France, in Alsace and Pays-de-la-Loire.

Mecabagel line

Olivier Sergent, president of TMG (Together Means Greater) and Mecatherm, noted ABI’s know-how for integrating robotic solutions in production lines, its leading position in bagels in North America and the reliability of its equipment – which is widely recognised by the market – will certainly benefit the union, with the successful launch of the Mecabagel line in September last year being a case in point.

The new line combines the technologies of both companies, allowing bakers to produce artisan-style bagels – from make-up to freezing – on high-performance industrial equipment.

“We are looking forward to this deeper collaboration with Alex Kuperman and the ABI LTD teams,”​ said Sergent.

ABI’s Kuperman added, “Beyond furthering innovation and enriching our complementary product and service offering, this transaction will greatly benefit the teams of both companies through the sharing of expert know-how and best practices.”

According to Jean-François Laurain, CEO of Unigrains, the acquisition is fully in line with its vision for the global industrial baking equipment industry and a strategic outlet for French agricultural productions.

“With complementary positions and several common projects, this operation offers many advantages for the development of both Mecatherm and ABI,”​ he said.

Unigrains has provided expertise and tailormade financial solutions to the agri-food and agro-industry for over 55 years. The Group manages €1bn and is a partner for nearly 100 companies operating at various stages of their development – notably capital restructurings, strategic investments and acquisitions – to ensure national and international growth.

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