Headquartered outside Barcelona in Spain, La Sirena is a leading specialist frozen food retailer operating 237 stores primarily in Catalonia and Madrid. La Sirena was acquired by OpCapita in December 2014 through the discounted acquisition and subsequent capitalisation of securities from its senior lenders.
Frozen food in Spain represents a stable c. €4 billion market (i.e. 5% of total food spending) concentrated on fish, shellfish and ready-made meals. With the second highest per capita consumption rate of seafood in Europe, Spanish frozen food retailers meet consumer demands for convenience, value and quality.
Prior to the acquisition by OpCapita, La Sirena’s performance suffered as result of an aggressive expansion strategy and an upscale repositioning of the company. As the Spanish economy slowed down and supermarket chains entered into aggressive price competition, La Sirena quickly lost market share and its overleveraged position soon prevented management from pulling the operational levers required for the company to recover quickly.
Through its acquisition, OpCapita stabilised the company’s capital structure and reinforced its balance sheet liquidity position. From this foundation, we are working with management to implement an operational improvement strategy focused on the following core initiatives:
- Rationalising frozen range to improve stock efficiency and range architecture
- Extending non-frozen/ambient product offering to optimise space productivity and margin
- Leveraging data from loyalty programme
- Reinforcing trading function within existing senior management team
- Refining existing store estate
Since our investment, we have:
- Invested in senior management, recruiting a Trading Director and Marketing Director to reinforce the existing management team
- Initiated a comprehensive review of product pricing and range architecture
- Accelerated the roll-out of non-frozen product offering
- Increased distribution frequency of promotional leaflets
- Improved existing store portfolio
Sector: Food retail
Find Investment Date: December 2014
Gross Turnover at Acquisition: €155 million
Note – All figures as of acquisition date unless otherwise noted