News & Press Releases - May 24, 2022

Axcel agrees to sell food industry automation leader Frontmatec to KKR-backed Bettcher Industries

The sale of Frontmatec to KKR-backed Bettcher Industries follows a successful growth and consolidation journey for Frontmatec initiated by Axcel in 2016 with the merger of five leading companies within automation in the food industry and other hygiene sensitive industries.

Frontmatec is today a world leader in automation within the food industry, renowned globally for its high-quality automated equipment, robotics, vision systems, instruments, and software solutions for the entire value chain of the red meat industry. With operations in Europe, the Americas and Asia, Frontmatec serves more than 1.500 customers from local industrial players to large global food processors.

Frontmatec is the result of a merger between five leading companies and five subsequent acquisitions to strengthen both its technology platform and geographic coverage. Since Axcel established the group in 2016, the company has doubled profitability, accelerated organic growth, and completed several successful acquisitions to strengthen its technology platform and to gain access to new markets.

“Frontmatec is a world leader in automation within the food industry, meeting the accelerating global demand for improved yield in production and food quality. I would like to thank the Axcel team, who have been instrumental in developing Frontmatec into the leading provider we are today, and not least all of our employees for their tremendous efforts. We look forward to continuing to develop and grow Frontmatec together with Bettcher and KKR, “said Allan Kristensen, CEO of Frontmatec.

“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 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 Industries.

Partner in Axcel and investment lead for Frontmatec, Christoffer Müller commented: “We are very proud to have been part of creating an industry champion together with the entire Frontmatec team. The company has become a highly profitable and an efficient platform for further growth, and we are pleased with the outcome of the sale and to see Frontmatec continue its journey with Bettcher and KKR, who is a very experienced investor. We wish them all the best in the future.”

Frontmatec is the ninth company to be sold by Axcel’s fourth fund, launched in 2010. The transaction is expected to be completed within three to six months.

Baird served as the exclusive financial advisor to Frontmatec and Axcel, while Bech Bruun served as legal counsel.

About Frontmatec
Frontmatec is the global market leader in automation solutions and services for the red meat processing industry, serving more than 1,500 customers worldwide including 14 out of 15 of the largest red meat processors. Frontmatec has a Global manufacturing and service footprint and employs more than 1,300 employees.

About Axcel
At Axcel, we believe that when it comes to creating growth in a sustainable way, it’s not what you invest in, but how you invest in it. With our strong focus on Nordic companies in the industrial & business services, tech, consumer, and healthcare sectors, we create success through a combination of our team’s network and experience paired with a systematic, growth-oriented value creation approach. Over the last 25 years, Axcel has raised six funds with cumulative capital commitments of EUR 2.8 billion. These funds have made 64 platform investments, with more than 150 add-on investments and 48 exits.

About Bettcher Industries
Headquartered in Birmingham, Ohio, Bettcher is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative equipment in the food processing and medical device industries, majority owned by KKR. The Bettcher portfolio includes the following: Bettcher, a designer and manufacturer of handheld trimmers, tools, and cutting consumables for all protein applications; Cantrell-Gainco, a manufacturer of processing equipment and yield enhancement and yield tracking systems for various protein operations; ICB Greenline, an aftermarket replacement parts and services company focused on poultry processing; and, Exsurco Medical, a leading-edge medical device company that provides innovative products and services to transform surgical grafting, debridement, and recovery outcomes for patients with burn and trauma wounds.


Further information

Christoffer Müller, Partner
Tel.: +45 29 38 53 66

Christian Schmidt-Jacobsen, Managing Partner
Tel.: +45 21 78 36 97

Allan Kristensen, CEO
Tel.: +45 26 25 77 12