Class VI Partners is pleased to announce the acquisition of Birko Corporation and its subsidiary Chad Equipment LLC (“Birko”, “Chad”, or the “Company”) by Diversey Holdings, Ltd. (“Diversey”). “Our team has been working with Birko since 2014,” said Peter Bessone, Associate for Class VI. “We have witnessed what thoughtful leadership, true grit, and industry expertise can accomplish. Kelly Green, Mark Swanson, and Suzan Damron are extremely talented entrepreneurs, but more importantly, dear friends. We are excited for this next chapter of growth for the Company as it continues to protect the food chain with the support of Diversey.”
Kelly Green, Chairman Emeritus of Birko, and Mark Swanson, Co-Chairman of Birko, commented, “Our relationship with Class VI started back in 2014 when Birko was still in its elementary growth stages and half the size it is today. For the past seven years, Class VI has acted as long-standing, trusted advisors and a true partner to us, coaching and witnessing Birko doubling in size and producing excellent results for our shareholders, employees, and customers. The Class VI team was with us every step of the way, from the first board advisory engagement in 2014, to laying out personal and business planning solutions through the Class VI Family Office, to negotiating and closing our sale to Diversey in 2021. We couldn’t imagine navigating the transaction and entire sale process without them as our guide. The Class VI team are true down-to-earth people, produce outstanding results, and will be dear friends for a lifetime.”
Kelly Green, third generation owner of Birko, continued, “There are a lot of family businesses just like Birko. Many may not know who to turn to in making the decision to grow, sell or grow to sell in a later date. Multi-generational family businesses face the same daunting challenges and how to manage through these waters can be extremely distracting on the business and create division within the family.”
“The team at Class VI provided support to both the champions of the business and the business owners, creating an environment to remain focused on sustainable growth while maintaining continuity of the family and entire entity. Many multi-generational family-owned business do not survive this extraordinary challenge. Clearly with the support of Class VI– Birko came out on the winning side.”
Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Henderson, CO, Birko (https://www.birkocorp.com/) provides an integration of environmentally responsible chemistry, state-of-the-art equipment, and custom technological solutions for the meat, produce, and beverage industries.
Diversey (https://diversey.com/en), is the worldwide leading pure play provider to the cleaning and hygiene industry for the institutional and food and beverage markets. Diversey provides a suite of solutions combining patented chemicals, dosing and dispensing equipment, cleaning machines, services, and digital analysis and serves more than 85,000 customers in over 80 countries.
The acquisition strengthens Diversey’s market presence in the United States and Canada, enhancing its scale, service and product offering, and creating numerous cross-sell and revenue opportunities as a truly global provider in the food and beverage industries. The acquisition also expands Diversey’s manufacturing capacity across the U.S., allowing for greater strategic control of the supply chain to improve fulfillment service to customers and increase efficiency throughout the plant network.
Commenting on the transaction, Kelly Green, Chairman, President and third generation owner of Birko Corporation, said: “The sale of the Birko and Chad business to Diversey represents an opportunity to continue our proud legacy of protecting the food chain with the resources and backing of a global leader. We are all confident that this is the best solution for our brands, our employees and our customers.”
Mark Swanson, CEO of Birko, added “We have a shared philosophy built around food safety and protecting the entire food chain. We look forward to bringing both companies together and providing exceptional solutions for the food and beverage industry.”
Commenting on the transaction, Edwin van der Heijden, Diversey’s VP North America Food and Beverage said, “The combination of Diversey, Birko and the Chad Equipment Division will provide our customers with an advanced range of solutions that protect food safety, improve operational efficiency and increase the sustainability of their operations. We anticipate enhanced value for our customers, combining innovative chemistry, state-of-the-art equipment and engineering expertise into leading solutions for all sectors in the food and beverage industry.”
The transaction closed on December 3rd, 2021. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP served as legal counsel to Birko, and Duane Morris LLP served as legal counsel to Diversey.