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Lantmännen to Acquire VAASAN Group

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Lantmännen to Acquire VAASAN Group

Lantmännen to Acquire VAASAN Group
January 20
11:55 2015

Lantmännen, the Nordic Region´s leader in agriculture, machinery, bioenergy and food products, has agreed to acquire Finnish company VAASAN Group, a bakery operator in Northern Europe, currently owned by private equity firm Lion Capital. Lantmännen Unibake and VAASAN will together enhance their position in the Baltic Sea region and expand their joint offering with several new products and concepts, well in line with Lantmännen’s strategic ambitions.

VAASAN is a leading bakery operator in Finland, as well as a major player in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic region with several well-known brands, including VAASAN´s Finn Crisp and VAASAN brands. The company is the largest thin crisp and the second-largest crisp bread producer in the world, a large player within bake-off in the Nordic countries, and also has a significant presence in the fresh bread segment. In 2013 VAASAN’s net sales amounted to approximately Eur415 million and the company employed approximately 2,745 people.

Lantmännen already owns approximately 8% of the shares in VAASAN and will with this transaction acquire the remaining shares. When all necessary regulatory approvals have been received, VAASAN will become part of Lantmännen Unibake, an international bakery company within the Lantmännen Group and manufacturer of frozen and fresh bread products for both the food service and food retail sectors. The acquisition enhances Lantmännen Unibake’s current offering with several new products and concepts, including an established international position within crisp bread, and it will also expand and develop its presence in the Baltic Sea region.

Per Olof Nyman, president and chief executive of Lantmännen.

Per Olof Nyman, president and chief executive of Lantmännen.

“The acquisition is well in line with our strategic ambitions to enhance our position in Northern Europe within our international bakery operations in Lantmännen Unibake. VAASAN and Lantmännen Unibake complement each other in many ways and together we can better respond to changing customer needs, expand our product line, and achieve a larger critical mass within product development and innovation to benefit our customers,” says Per Olof Nyman, president and chief executive of Lantmännen.

“Through this acquisition we join a leading Nordic company within our own industry and our abilities to serve our customers and consumers will further improve. The acquisition also means increased possibilities for international development and new and exciting opportunities for Lantmännen’s and VAASAN’s employees and leaders. This acquisition means a new phase for both companies,” says Esa Rautalinko, chief executive of VAASAN Group.

“The acquisition strengthens our service and delivery and enhances Lantmännen’s and VAASAN’s joint offering with a broad range of products. Together we will have greater market reach and also be able to offer new and innovative products,” says Werner Devinck, CEO Lantmännen Unibake.

The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory reviews and closing is expected in mid-2015.

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