Category: Portfolio Leadership

Hospitals are the world’s lifelines

Advent portfolio companies are stepping up to help hospitals all over the world – Definitive Healthcare, Syneos Health and Culligan International in the US, Rubix in the UK and INNIO Group in Austria.

Sovos helps keep critical workers fed – and restaurants in business

Company makes donation to food program for frontline medical staff during coronavirus crisis.

Frontline Foods

Providing meals for critical healthcare workers

Sovos Brands has offered its support to a pioneering initiative to help both businesses and health workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the backing of the Advent Global Relief Fund, the food and beverage firm has made a substantial donation to Frontline Foods.
The program’s funds are used to buy meals for healthcare workers from restaurants local to them. This helps keep the establishments financially solvent while their premises are closed, while feeding critical workers on the frontline of the pandemic. It is active in 59 cities across the United States.
Frontline Foods has partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK), a charitable organization led by chef José Andrés, to scale up the program across the USA. Donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of all contributions go directly to the restaurants.
Rao’s Homemade – a wholly owned subsidiary of Sovos making Italian-inspired foods – participated in #GivingTuesdayNow, a day of giving and solidarity in Montclair, New Jersey. The brand partnered with Hackensack Merdian Health Mountainside Medical Center and the YMCA of Montclair to encourage generosity, engagement and philanthropy, in support of communities and nonprofits around the world. Rao’s matched a share of donations made during the day and provided gift baskets for donors. It also supplied the makings of a pasta lunch for children in the YMCA’s childcare program for essential workers. Many had parents who were Mountainside Medical Center employees.
The brand has also launched the #sauce4cause Instagram Live campaign, which included weekly recipe inspiration from celebrity chefs and personalities. The initiative included a ‘Make One, Give One’ pledge from Rao’s — for every fan who made and shared one of the featured dishes, Sovos gave one meal to a family in need via Montclair, NJ non-profit Jersey Cares.
Sovos’ core yoghurt brand, noosa, donated 1.5 million meals to Feeding America and created a limited edition yoghurt lid to encourage its’ customers to jump on board and support this important cause. In addition, the brand has made donations of yoghurt to the Poudre School District lunch program, as well as three Californian children’s hospitals.
Based in Berkeley, California, Sovos Brands is a company that aims to acquire and build unique brands in the food and beverage sector. It owns Rao’s Homemade, a product line centered on premium pasta sauces; noosa yoghurt; and Michael Angelo’s, a producer of Italian frozen meals.

AI Dream (King Koil and Serta China) provides Wuhan hospitals with bedding essentials

Mattress company donated supplies to emergency hospitals and raises funds for Covid-19 relief.

Raised for the Wuhan Charity Foundation
Bedding manufacturer AI Dream (King Koil and Serta China) has masterminded a ‘bed-in-a-box’ program to help the areas of Wuhan most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese firm has donated ~3000 items of bedding, including pillows, mattresses and beds, to temporary hospitals.
In a separate initiative, the company held a charity pillow sale that raised $650k for the Wuhan Charity Foundation – an organization running coronavirus relief projects in the city.
The company has taken steps to look after its network of distributors in Wuhan and elsewhere. Between February and April, AI Dream provided a contribution to their rent costs, and helped to pay their employees’ salaries.
Established in 2000, King Koil China is a premium manufacturer and retailer of mattresses for the Chinese market. The Shanghai-based company owns an exclusive license within the country for major international brands including King Koil and Life Balance. It is the premier supplier of sleep products to China’s expanding luxury-hotel sector.
Serta entered China in 1998 and has grown into a leader in the Chinese mattress market. Serta China is the exclusive licensee of the Serta Brand in China. Based in Shenzhen, Serta China has more than 1,600 branded outlets across the country.

Prisma protects merchants with contactless trade app

Argentinean company launches Payment Button to enable easy cash-free purchases during pandemic.

AlimentTAR cards issued
Prisma Medios de Pago has launched an app to help merchants take orders without physical contact – a vital capability during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Prisma’s Payment Button app, called Todo Pago, traders can offer their customers an easy-to-use digital payment option, removing the risk of virus transmission via the passing of cash.
The Payment Button process is simple. When a consumer calls the merchant to make an order, the merchant sends back a link to an online form via email, a messaging service such as WhatsApp, or a social network like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
The consumer completes the form and sends it back to the merchant, and the payment is processed. No special app needs to be installed on the customer’s device, and the Payment Button is suitable for transactions of all sizes.
The app is similarly straightforward for merchants to use. Unlike other digital payment solutions, it does not require the trader to create an e-commerce website or upload an online catalog.
Togo Pago has proven popular since its launch and has seen payment button activation and the number of transactions increase by 165% and 145% respectively between March and April 2020.
In addition, the company has issued more than 480,000 cards for the government’s “AlimenTAR” program, part of a comprehensive food supply policy, focusing on low income sectors during the pandemic crisis.
Based in Buenos Aires, Prisma Medios de Pago is Argentina’s leading payments company and one of the biggest in South America. It offers point-of-sale rental, e-commerce gateway provision, transaction processing and other value-added services to merchants across a wide range of sectors. It operates in 14 countries across Latin America.

First Watch launches hardship fund for workers

Support scheme joins a raft of measures for staff and their communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

You First Fund

Helping staff suffering Covid-19 related financial distress

Restaurant group First Watch has taken decisive action in support of its employees and the communities they serve.
First Watch’s mission has always been “You First” – and the restaurant chain has committed to several different measures to protect its employees’ health and financial well-being, even as nearly all its restaurant locations have temporarily closed during the lockdown period.
Most recently, and perhaps most significantly, the You First Fund is the latest in a line of initiatives to support First Watch team members. The fund was created, with support from the Advent Global Relief Fund, to help staff who may be struggling to meet personal or family expenses because of the crisis. Qualifying workers can apply for a tax-free grant – which, if approved, is paid within days.
In addition, First Watch has provided relief payments to longstanding hourly team members who are on furlough and has pledged to provide a bonus for furloughed restaurant managers when they return to work. The benefits have been partly funded through cost savings and pay cuts taken by senior leadership.
The restaurant company is providing more than financial support to its employees though. First Watch has invested in telemedicine benefits for all employees – whether at work or furloughed – and their families, at no cost to them. This program grants every staff member access to medical professionals who can diagnose issues, authorize tests and prescribe medications.
The company also committed to continuing all the existing healthcare benefits of furloughed employees, and to covering 100% of out-of-pocket costs, co-pays and deductibles for any medical visits related to Covid-19.
Various First Watch locations across the United States have been providing free meals for healthcare workers, first responders and other people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The franchise in Springfield, Missouri, is among those to have risen to the challenge, donating more than 5,000 free meals to local children.
Headquartered in Manatee County, Florida, First Watch is a daytime restaurant concept that offers made-to-order breakfasts, brunches and lunches using fresh ingredients. It operates more than 365 outlets across 29 states of the USA.

Quero-Quero fights hunger in southern Brazil

Retail company launches drive to fund food baskets for those impacted by coronavirus.

Food baskets targeted
To help mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brazilian retail chain Quero-Quero is aiming to provide 30,000 food baskets for individuals and families in need.
The Advent portfolio company has launched the Desafio do Bem (Good Challenge) program to raise money for the initiative. Directors and employees of Quero-Quero have donated to the cause, and their contribution has been matched by Advent.
The initiative is being rolled out in Quero-Quero outlets in the 280 municipalities where they are located across southern Brazil. The company has been able to retain its six thousand employees during the outbreak.
Customers can donate instore, by visiting the Desafio do Bem website, or via the company’s VerdeCard credit card app.
Quero-Quero is the market leader home-improvement retailer in Southern Brazil with more than 350 stores in the region. It is headquartered in Cachoeirinha, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The world is facing one of its worst recessions in decades

Our portfolio companies are doing amazing work to help businesses all over the world, coming up with innovative solutions to the daily challenges being posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch this video to get inspired by great initiatives from CCC Information Services, Nets Group, Nexi, and Prisma Medios de Pago.

DFG-Bonitas helps ensure hospital capacity for Covid-19 challenge

Outpatient care provider builds up extra intensive-care capacity to safeguard hospitals.

iPads provided to elderly care homes, helping residents stay in touch with their families during lockdown

Advent portfolio company DFG-Bonitas is Germany’s largest outpatient care supplier. During the first months of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the company ramped up capacity in its intensive care groups, helping hospitals keep vital ICU beds free for potential Covid-19 patients.
The German healthcare provider approached hospitals at the start of the outbreak with the offer to increase capacity – making it less likely they would be overwhelmed by any spike in demand caused by the virus.
DFG-Bonitas has also prepared coronavirus care units for its own patients who may become infected with the virus. These specialist units provide separate areas for staff to put on protective equipment and disinfect themselves.
In addition, the company has provided iPads to its elderly care homes, making it easier for residents to stay in touch with their families during the lockdown period.
DFG-Bonitas was formed from a business combination of Deutsche Fachpflege Gruppe – the country’s leading provider of out-of-hospital intensive care – and Bonitas, a nationwide nursing network specializing in outpatient critical care.

Dutch Government enlists Mediq to source personal protective equipment

Healthcare firm plays key role in national PPE procurement and distribution initiative.


PPE shipments delivered

The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has created a national consortium of companies to help meet the urgent demand for Personal Protective Equipment ‘PPE’ supplies for health care workers fighting Covid-19. As part of this initiative, healthcare firm Mediq has made its distribution and logistics network available to get products to the Netherlands’ care sector and ensure fair distribution.
In order to fulfil these new obligations, Mediq has set up a separate platform within its ordering and information portal and established a dedicated customer care team. In record time, over 5,200 healthcare organizations and professionals were able to register and place orders. The first 5,000 PPE shipments have already been delivered, in line with the company’s commitment to supply healthcare workers with proper and effective protection by whatever means possible.
Headquartered in Utrecht, Mediq, is a major player in healthcare with operations in 13 European countries. The company provides medical devices, care services and pharmaceuticals for people with chronic illnesses or serious diseases as well as medical supplies and device-led solutions to hospitals, care institutions and general practitioners. Its mission is to help patients live higher-quality lives, no matter what their health challenges.

Röhm responds to global need for coronavirus protection

In an effort to protect workers at essential businesses such as supermarkets, pharmacies and banks, Röhm has ramped up its production of PLEXIGLAS®. 

Employees dedicated to the production of protective screens
Manufactured into screens, PLEXIGLAS® serves as a transparent shield between staff and customers at the point of sale, mitigating the spread of the virus.
Since March, demand for PLEXIGLAS® screens has increased dramatically and is currently up to 10x higher than usual. Röhm has responded by introducing a four shift model working around the clock and dedicating more than 150 employees solely to the production of protective screens. As the largest and integrated producer in mainland Europe with significant operations in the US and China, Röhm is aware of its critical role as a supplier of acrylic sheets to prevent the spread of the virus. Röhm is continuously working on increasing its production capacities in order to support as many customers as possible in protecting their employees and customers, while at the same time ensuring highest safety standards of its own employees.
Going forward, management is confident to be able to offer cost effective protection solutions for various non-essential businesses including restaurants, driving schools, hairdressers and nail studios, but also to increase workplace safety in industrial production and in offices. As such, PLEXIGLAS® may play a role in a safer and thus faster relaxation of the current lock-down measures.

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