Bettcher Industriesa leading manufacturer of protein processing equipment, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Frontmatec from Axcel. KKR, which acquired Bettcher in December 2021, will invest additional capital from its North American private equity strategy to support the transaction.

Headquartered in Kolding, Denmark, Frontmatec is a global manufacturer of end-to-end automated solutions for pork and beef processing, with world-class robotics and vision system capabilities. The company serves as a full-line supplier of processing equipment, parts and services, instruments plus software, which help solve key issues pertaining to food and worker safety.

The acquisition represents an important step in Bettcher’s strategy to build a scaled food processing automation platform serving food processing plants globally. In addition to delivering leading automation capabilities, the purchase of Frontmatec deepens Bettcher’s footprint in Europe.  Frontmatec’s executive team, led by Allan Kristensen, is expected to remain in place to continue to grow the business after the transaction closes.

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“Frontmatec has built a leading brand and position by enabling customers to continuously improve the productivity and safety of their workforce. The company’s capabilities in automation and its global presence make it a superb fit for the Bettcher platform, and we are excited to work with Allan and his team to extend our collective innovation leadership,” said Tim Swanson, CEO of Bettcher.

“We are excited to join forces with Bettcher and believe this strategic transaction will enable Frontmatec to continue expanding our suite of solutions which are helping to meet the accelerating global demand for improved yield in production and food quality. We are proud of everything we have accomplished and are focused on the exciting opportunity to continue growing our business together with Bettcher and KKR,” said Allan Kristensen, CEO of Frontmatec.

The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2022, subject to customary regulatory approvals.