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The European Private-Equity company EMZ Partners has entered into a binding contract to acquire a stake in Ankerkraut GmbH. Ankerkraut is well known since they pitched in the German version of the American ABC-Show “Shark Tank”, broadcasted in Germany as “Die Höhle der Löwen” (Dragons’ Den). In addition to EMZ, the management team of Ankerkraut also becomes a shareholder. The founding family Lemcke remains the majority owner of the business and the incumbent minority shareholders Frank Thelen and Matthias Knälmann stay on board.

Ankerkraut was founded in 2013 and has since become the “Love Brand“ and #1 Challenger in the German spice market. Headquartered in Jesteburg it operates offices and production facilities in Hamburg. The company develops, produces and sells premium spice mixes, mono-spices, teas, christmas calendars, gift sets and plans to expand into sauces in the near future.

Ankerkraut’s products are 100% free of flavour enhancers, preserving agents, artificial colours and other flavours. Next to its conventional segment Ankerkraut offers a broad assortment of organic products which is expected to grow strongly in future.

”We are impressed by the historical development of Ankerkraut and are delighted to become a part of Ankerkraut’s future. The culture of Ankerkraut lived by its founders Stefan and Anne Lemcke as well as the managers Timo Haas and Alexander Schwoch is unique and it is our highest concern to preserve it. We are looking forward to working together with the whole Ankerkraut team and the other shareholders”, says Klaus Maurer, Partner in the Munich office of EMZ.

Stefan Lemcke, founder and CEO of Ankerkraut, adds: ”We are delighted to have attracted EMZ as future partner of Ankerkraut. Carlsquare’s team around Michael Moritz has identified the ideal investor and the collaboration over the past weeks was characterised by fairness and respect. We are convinced that EMZ is the right partner for the successful future development of Ankerkraut“.

Frank Thelen is also very happy with his investment: “Ankerkraut has proven that with a high-quality product and an outstanding design, it is possible to tackle a market that has been dominated by giants for years. Anne and Stefan worked very hard to not only build up a successful company but also a strong brand. Freigeist looks forward to remaining part of their success story.”

Carlsquare acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ankerkraut.

EMZ Partners