Tag Archive | "acquisition"

Frutarom makes first acquisition in 2016


frutaromFrutarom has begun 2016 with the purchase of 50% of biotech company Algalo for around $2.6 million which will fund the building of a facility that will specialise in the cultivation, harvesting and processing of algae. Frutarom will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights for Algalo products.

“The investment in Algalo is part of a broad strategic move by Frutarom to reinforce its position and standing as a leading and innovative global supplier of natural specialty products and functional food ingredients in the fields of taste and health which already now make up over 75% of Frutarom’s activity,” said Ori Yehudai, President and CEO of Frutarom Group. “The technology developed by Algalo for cultivating, harvesting and processing algae expands Frutarom’s internal research and development capabilities for producing active ingredients from algae, a field in which we are already active, and provides an innovative platform and an additional growth engine for expanding Frutarom’s diverse product portfolio in the growing field of natural specialty ingredients. We will work towards leveraging the cross-selling opportunities arising from this investment by expanding Frutarom’s product portfolio and technological abilities and by presenting Algalo’s innovative products to our thousands of customers worldwide.”

“The size of the algae-based ingredient market is estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars and has enjoyed double-digit growth over recent years .We foresee the rapid growth in this market continuing in coming years in light of consumer trends towards healthier and more natural products that drive the food, nutritional supplements and cosmetics companies to be innovative in developing natural ingredients and efficient in their production processes and cost structure,” continued Yehudai.

“Frutarom believes that biotechnology represents the next generation in the development and production of innovative natural ingredients for the industries which it serves, and the Company intends to continue expanding its capabilities in this area by intensifying investment in R&D within its laboratories as well as through additional investments and joint ventures with research institutions, universities and startup companies to which Frutarom can contribute from its experience in applied R&D, its industrial manufacturing and from its global deployment in over 150 countries with sales to more than 20,000 customers including leading global companies in foods and beverages, nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics,” concluded Yehudai.

Established in 1933, Frutarom is a rapidly growing global flavor and fine ingredients company and is numbered among the ten leading companies in the world, in the field of flavors & fragrances. The company markets and sells over 31,000 products to more than 15,500 customers in 145 countries, has 41 R&D labs and 79 sales and marketing offices throughout the world and operates 34 production facilities in Europe, North America, Israel and Asia. Frutarom employs 2,700 employees worldwide.

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Eden Springs Acquires French Coffee Company


Eden Springs, Europe’s leading workplace drinks provider, has taken another important step in the roll-out of its hot beverage portfolio by acquiring the office coffee service (OCS) business of DrinkSo. This is Eden’s fourth European coffee company acquisition in less than twelve months.

Delivering bespoke coffee solutions for 22 years, DrinkSo is based in Bordeaux and serves over 800 customers across the public sector, banking, professional services, SMEs and catering companies in the South West region of France. Its premium Espresso range is delivered in partnership with coffee giant, Lavazza. The integration of the acquired activity will increase Eden’s revenue in France by more than Eur700,000 per annum.

Chief executive of Eden Springs, Raanan Zilberman, comments: “This is our first coffee company acquisition in France and we are in no doubt that DrinkSo’s OCS experience will be key to our successful expansion in the country. As we roll out our total drink solution portfolio, we are targeting new markets and we’ve worked hard to understand the demand for different solutions across the varying European marketplace – something reflected in the growing diversity of our acquisitions.”

As part of the company’s longer-term strategy to dominate the workplace beverage market through a total water and coffee service, Eden Springs has undertaken a series of other acquisitions in recent months. These include Spain’s water cooler provider, Todagua, Swiss water cooler company Eldevia, Dutch-based coffee company TheCafe, as well the UK’s Shakespeare Coffee Company and Garraways. It is also delivering its own premium coffee brand, Edenissimo.

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Greencore Makes Bolt-on Acquisition in UK Ready Meals


Greencore Group has acquired International Cuisine, a private label chilled ready meal business, from the Hain Daniels Group in the UK. International Cuisine’s ready meal facility is based in Consett in CountyDurham and the majority of its revenue of approximately £45 million is derived from several existing Greencore ready meal customers.

The acquired facility will also provide additional capacity for Greencore in the ready meals category in the UK, which continues to show strong growth. The gross assets acquired were £16.7 million.

The transaction will be funded from existing debt facilities and will have a minimal impact on Greencore’s leverage, which is anticipated will remain below 3.0 times at end September 2012 on a net debt to EBITDA basis.

Greencore is one of the leading convenience food manufacturers in theUKwith strong market positions across sandwiches, chilled prepared meals, chilled soups and sauces, ambient sauces and pickles, cakes, desserts and Yorkshire puddings. The group has also been extending presence outside the UK with an emerging convenience food business in the US.

The Hain Daniels Group in the UK is part of The Hain Celestial Group, a leading natural and organic products company.

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Carlsberg Extends Ownership of Baltika Breweries


Carlsberg Group has acquired a 12.1% stake in Baltika Breweries for an undisclosed sum to increase its ownership of the Russian brewer to 96.8%. When the necessary administrative steps have been completed Carlsberg Group intends to launch a compulsory purchase of the remaining outstanding shares in Baltika Breweries.

Russiais the world’s fourth largest beer market and the Carlsberg Group firmly believes in the longterm market and profit pool growth opportunities. The transaction is in line with the Carlsberg Group’s strategy of having 100% ownership of its most important subsidiaries to achieve greater operational flexibility. By having 100% ownership of Baltika, the company can be fully integrated into the Carlsberg Group which will speed up the implementation of decisions.

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Orkla Buys Rieber & Son


Orkla has taken a significant step towards becoming a pure play branded consumer goods company by agreeing to acquire the family-owned Rieber & Son. The transaction values the entire company (on a debt-free basis) at NOK 6.1 billion (Eur831 million).

Rieber & Son is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and is an important supplier to grocery stores in the Nordic countries, parts of Central Europe and Russia. Its well-known brands include Toro, Vitana, K-Salat, Delecta, Frodinge, Chaka and Bähncke. In 2011, its total sales amounted to about NOK4.3 billion. EBITDA came to NOK642 million in 2010 and NO 464 million in 2011. The company has a total of 2,900 employees, of whom 1,700 work outside of Norway.

“Together, Rieber & Son and Orkla will be the leading Nordic food manufacturer, with the expertise and resources to develop strong local products and brands in competition with international players,” comments Age Korsvold, chief executive of Orkla.

The Rieber family has owned the company since it was founded in 1839.Rieber & Son has a range of familiar brands and businesses: Toro is Norway’s leading supplier of sauces, soups and ready-made meals, and other products. Other famous Norwegian brands in Rieber & Søn’s portfolio include Denja, Mr Lee, Vossafar and Vestlandslefsa. Vitana is one of the CzechRepublic’s largest and most renowned food manufacturers. K-Salat has a good position in both Sweden and Denmark in mayonnaise, remoulade and salads. Delecta is one of Poland’s leading dessert and bake mix brands. Frodinge is the market leader in chilled and frozen cakes and desserts in Sweden. Chaka is a well-known Russian brand of nuts. Bähncke is the leading Danish mustard brand. In addition, Rieber & Søn supplies the food service sector in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“With this acquisition, Orkla expands its product portfolio and gains strong market positions in categories that are entirely new to us. Rieber & Son has created local food customs and defined the well-loved taste of a number of familiar products. The company has strong brands that are an optimal fit for Orkla’s product portfolio as regards categories, production technology and geography,” Age Korsvold elaborates.

Closing of the transaction is conditional upon receiving approval from the European Commission and Russian competition authorities. It is expected that closing of the transaction can take place by the end of Q1 2013.

CAPTION:

From left to right: Oystein Elgan, lawyer and director in Bjarne Rieber Gruppen, Fritz T Rieber, representantative of the Rieber family, chairman of Orkla Stein Erik Hagen og, and president and chief executive of Orkla Age Korsvold.

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McCain Foods to Acquire Leading European Chilled Potato Producer


International frozen foods group McCain Foods intends to acquire CelaVíta, a subsidiary of Bieze Food Group, a leading Dutch producer of chilled food products for the food retail and food service industry. CelaVíta is a leading European chilled potato producer and the market leader in the Benelux with over 300 employees. Its product portfolio includes whole baby potatoes, cut, sliced, diced and mash potato, both natural and seasoned.

CelaVíta has strong and longstanding relationships with Dutch and international customers across the three main channels – retail, food service and food industry. Its activity is particularly focused in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, UK and Italy. In line with common practice, this agreement is subject to consultation with employee representatives and other customary closing conditions.

Upon completion of this acquisition, CelaVíta will become a full subsidiary of McCain Foods Holland, a subsidiary of McCain Foods. The proposed acquisition will strengthen McCain’s core potato business and open opportunities to better serve customers with a more diverse range of product solutions.

“The acquisition of such a respected and leading player in the industry will allow us to expand our range of capabilities and grow our supply position on the European processed potato market,” says Jean Bernou, president of McCain Continental Europe.

McCain Foods is the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialties, employing over 19,000 people and operating 50 production facilities on six continents. A privately-owned company based in Canada, McCain generates annual sales in excess of C$6 billion. The company’s products can be found in restaurants and retail stores in over 160 countries around the world.

McCain Continental Europe, whose headquarters are located in Villeneuve d’Ascq (France), has 2500 employees. Within the Continental Europe region, McCain works closely with 1700 farmer partners. The McCain Continental Europe region spans 45 countries and has 7 production sites in Belgium, France, Poland and the Netherlands.

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Glanbia Expands Nutritional Ingredients Business With US Acquisition


Glanbia, the international nutritional solutions and cheese group, has acquired Aseptic Solutions, a US beverage manufacturer and co packer, for $60 million (Eur50 million). The acquisition is funded through Glanbia’s existing banking facilities.

ASI was founded in 2004 and is a manufacturer and co-packer of nutritional and dietary beverages including vitamin shots, protein shakes and 100% natural fruit juices. The business operates from a state-of-the-art facility in Corona, California and employs 175 people.

The acquisition of ASI is aligned with Glanbia’s nutritionals growth strategy and will strengthen Glanbia Nutritional Ingredient Technologies by expanding its end-to-end solutions capability as an ingredients supplier, formulator and end product manufacturer. Aseptic Solutions capability is focused on key high growth trends in nutritional markets for sustainable, natural foods with nutrient integrity. The acquisition enhances the Glanbia portfolio by complementing and enhancing existing ingredient solution capabilities.

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Remy Cointreau Enters Scotch Whisky Market


Remy Cointreau UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Remy Cointreau Group, has agreed to acquire Bruichladdich Distillery Company, the Islay single malt Scotch whisky distiller. The transaction marks the French drinks group’s first move into the premium single malt Scotch whisky market, a category experiencing strong growth all over the world, especially in the very high-end segment.

This deal furthers Remy Cointreau’s long term value strategy, geared to investing into international premium spirits with strong ‘savoir-faire’. Bruichladdich, the progressive Hebridean distiller, was purchased in December 2000 by Mark Reynier and a group of private investors who resurrected the Victorian distillery developing it in to an exciting brand with worldwide acclaim.

Total transaction value amounts to £58 million, comprising of £48 million for the acquisition of the entire share capital of Bruichladdich and estimated debt of £10 million that Remy Cointreau will assume.

Jean-Marie Laborde, chief executive of Remy Cointreau, says: “The acquisition of Bruichladdich, a renownedIslaysingle malt with a rich and exciting heritage, is a great opportunity to enrich our high-end portfolio of brands and to confirm our strategy in the spirits luxury segment. We expect Bruichladdich to sit proudly alongside our other brands.”

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Kozy Shack Acquired by US Dairy Co-op


Kozy Shack Enterprises, the North American and international producer of chilled dairy desserts, has been acquired by US dairy co-operative Land O’Lakes. The acquisition of Kozy Shack provides Land O’Lakes with entry to the attractive dairy dessert category. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kozy Shack, based in New York, was founded by Vincent Gruppuso more than 40 years ago, and has remained a family-owned company. Kozy Shack is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium dessert products in the US and Canada, and has a presence in Ireland for European customers. 

With annual sales of nearly $13 billion, Land O’Lakes is the second-largest farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative in the US. It does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. It is a leading marketer of a full line of dairy-based consumer, food service and food ingredient products across theUnited States; serves its international customers with a variety of food and animal feed ingredients; and provides farmers and ranchers with an extensive line of agricultural supplies (feed, seed, and crop protection products) and services. Land O’Lakes also provides agricultural assistance and technical training in more than 25 developing nations.

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Heineken to Acquire Asia Pacific Breweries


Heineken has made a S$5.1 billion (US$4 billion) offer to buy the stake held by its joint venture partner, Fraser & Neave, in Asia Pacific Breweries, one of the fastest growing beer groups in Asia and owner of the Tiger brand. In accordance with the Singapore Code on Takeovers and Mergers, when the conditions of the offer are satisfied, Heineken will make a mandatory general offer for all the shares of APB not already owned by Heineken for a maximum consideration of S$2.4 billion.

Heineken’s offer is in line with the company’s strategy to expand its presence in emerging markets and follows transformational deals in recent years that have included the acquisition of the brewing operations of FEMSA in Mexico and Brazil, the partnership with United Breweries in India and acquisitions and capacity investments in Africa.

If agreed, the offer will strengthen Heineken’s platform for growth in some of the world’s most exciting and dynamic economies with fast-growing populations. The deal will give Heineken direct access to a number of important markets, including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

When completed, the offer will also strengthen Heineken’s portfolio, providing control of the strong international Tiger brand and strong regional and local brands such as Anchor, Bintang and Larue.

Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chairman and chief executive of Heineken, comments: “We really value our partnership with F&N which goes back over 80 years, but due to changes in the F&N and APB shareholding, the fabric of the partnership has changed. As a result, it is time for us to look ahead to the next chapter of our Asian business, in whichSingaporewill continue to be our regional headquarters and both the Heineken and Tiger brand will spearhead our brand portfolio in Asia.”

He adds: “We believe that our offer for the APB shares is highly attractive and provides excellent value to F&N and APB shareholders. At the same time, taking control of APB will create long-term financial and strategic value for Heineken’s shareholders.”

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Nestle Health Science Develops Brain Health Portfolio With New Acquisition


Nestle Health Science has acquired a stake in a US firm Accera, to support the ongoing trials and rollout of the firm’s key brand, Axona, a medical food intended for the clinical dietary management of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, already on the market in the US. Axona fits the company’s ambition to develop a strong portfolio of nutrition-based solutions to manage and prevent disease.

Accera is a privately-held US-based company which specialises in the research, development and commercialisation of medical foods for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s which affects more than 30 million people worldwide. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

“Our stake in Accera is a strategic step forward in building up our brain health portfolio,” says Nestle Health Science president and chief executive Luis Cantarell. “Axona is an innovative medical food with a well understood mode of action and offers the potential for personalised nutrition for AD patients.”

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common adult form of dementia and results in chronic and irreversible cognitive impairment. As AD progresses, the brain becomes less able to use glucose for the energy it needs.

Accera’s ongoing clinical trials show that Axona is metabolised by the liver to produce ketone bodies, which are naturally occurring compounds the brain can use as an alternative energy source. This results in improved memory and cognitive function in mild to moderate AD patients. Axona is already on the market in the US, prescribed to up to 30,000 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Nestle has many years of experience researching the relationship between nutrition and cognitive function.

Nestle Health Science, a fully owned subsidiary of Nestle, aims to pioneer a new industry between the traditional nutrition and pharmaceutical industries through the development of science-based personalised nutritional solutions and shaping a new approach to disease prevention and management.

Building on its core HealthCare Nutrition business, Nestle Health Science has ambitions to address chronic conditions in the area of Gastrointestinal Health, Metabolic Health and Brain Health.

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Irish Dairy Board Strengthens UK Food Ingredients Business


The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has acquired The Cheese Warehouse, a UK-based cheese ingredients company. This strategic acquisition will further strengthen the IDB’s position in the UK food ingredients and food service sectors, a key market for Irish dairy exports.

Established in 2004, The Cheese Warehouse operates from well invested facilities in North Shropshirewhere it custom formulates a range of cheese solutions for both food service and food manufacturing customers. It has grown consistently to achieve a turnover of about Eur38 million for the year ended 29 February 2012.

Kevin Lane, chief executive of IDB, comments: “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to develop and enhance routes to market for value-added Irish dairy products. The Cheese Warehouse complements our existing cheese ingredients business located close by in the UK and will significantly increase our presence in the UK cheese ingredients and food service sectors.”

He adds: “This transaction presents exciting opportunities to grow our business in the UK in collaboration with both existing and new customers across new products, technologies and processes. We view in-market collaboration as a key growth driver for Irish dairy products as milk volumes expand ahead of the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.”

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Remy Cointreau Group Has Taste For Scotch Whisky


Remy Cointreau Group, the French spirits and liqueurs group, has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire Scotch malt whisky product Bruichladdich Distillery Company. Founded in 1881, Bruichladdich is a renowned distiller of premium single malt Scotch whisky based on the Isle of Islay in Scotland.

For the year ended 31 March 2012, Remy Cointreau increased turnover by 13% to Eur1.03 billion and operating profit by 24.4% to Eur207.7 million.

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Premier Foods Sells Ethnic Flour Business to ABF


Premier Foods has sold its Elephant Atta ethnic flour business to Westmill Foods, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, for a cash consideration of £34 million. The agreement represents another step in Premier Foods’ strategy to prioritise investment behind its ‘power brands’ and divest selected, non-core businesses.

Elephant Atta is the UK’s leading brand of ethnic flour. The sale includes the Elephant Atta, Elephant Chakki Gold and Fassal brands predominantly manufactured and packed at Premier Foods’ mill in Southampton.

For the year ended 31 December 2011, the Elephant Atta business had reported revenues of £17.8 million and an EBITDA (before selling, general and administrative costs) of £6.4 million. The value of the transaction represents approximately 1.9x revenues. The gross assets of the Elephant Atta business as at 31 December 2011 were £3 million.

Premier Foods and ABF have entered into a co-packing agreement pursuant to which Premier Foods will continue to manufacture the Elephant Atta brands at its Southampton mill. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down Premier Foods’ debt.

Michael Clarke, chief executive of Premier Foods, comments: “We are continuing to deliver on our growth strategies, growing our ‘power brands’, divesting selected, non-core businesses and reducing costs on track with our plans.”

George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, says: “Elephant Atta is the UK’s leading ethnic flour brand and will complement Westmill’s other leading ethnic brands including Tolly Boy rice, Rajah spices, Lucky Boat noodles and Patak’s pastes and sauces.”

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Emmi Strengthens its International Business


Swiss dairy group Emmi has further strengthened its international business by increasing its stakes in Kaiku Corporacion Alimentaria in northern Spain (from 42.6 % to 66 %) and Diprola in France (to 63 %). In the medium term, Emmi’s strategy is to increase the share of sales generated by its international business from 30% to 50%. This growth is to be achieved organically and through acquisitions. By increasing these two stakes, Emmi is taking a further significant step forward in its internationalisation.

Kaiku’s main markets are Spain, Chile and Tunisia. The company is market leader in northern Spain with regional brands and leads the Spanish market in the area of lactose-free milk and chilled coffee beverages. In 2011 Kaiku generated sales of Eur278 million. Thanks to the partnership with Kaiku, sales in Spain of Emmi Caffe Latte, produced in Ostermundigen (Switzerland), increased by more than 70% in the first five months of the current year, a growth rate bigger than in any other market.

Kaiku’s particular advantage is its broad geographical diversification – over half of the company’s sales are in fast growing markets outside Spain, notably in South America (in particular Chile). It is also successful in Tunisia, where it has a majority shareholding in Vitalait, the country’s second leading player. Emmi’s increased participation in Kaiku will enable it to benefit from rapid and strong growth in these markets.

Since January 2008 Emmi and the Italian cheese specialist Ambrosi. have been expanding the distribution of Swiss and Italian cheeses in France through the jointly owned company Ambrosi Emmi France. In January 2010 the two companies acquired a combined 25% stake in the French cheese packaging specialist Diprola, which operates in the market under the name ETS Schopfer. The company operates in France and Germany.

Emmi and Ambrosi have now decided to fully acquire the French company, which is headquartered in theAvignon. Emmi will be the majority shareholder with a stake of 63%. Diprola commands a strong position in the fresh packaging (frais-emballe) and distribution of cheeses from Switzerland, Italy and France.

Freshly packaged cheese has been a growth segment in Emmi’s key European markets for a number of years, and is also becoming increasingly popular in the Swiss retail trade. The acquisition of Diprola will enable Emmi to increase its access to know-how in this specialised area of cheese packaging, while also allowing it to further strengthen its position in the European cheese market by further exploiting the export potential of Swiss cheese.

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Cranswick Expands Cooked Meats Business


UK food processor Cranswick has acquired Kingston Foods for an undisclosed sum. Kingston is a producer of premium cooked and roasted meat products and at 27 January 2012 had gross assets of £3.7 million. The acquisition of Kingston strengthens Cranswick’s cooked meat production capabilities, further diversifies its product range in a growing market and broadens the group’s customer base.

According to Shore Capital Stockbrokers,Kingston is primarily servicing ‘quick service restaurants’ and so the deal is also consistent with Cranswick’s intention to drive food service turnover from £60 million to £160 million in forthcoming years.

In the most recently published company accounts (January 2011), Kingston Foods reported group sales of £11.6 million and EBIT of £0.5 million, implying an EBIT margin of 4.3%. Shore Capital Stockbrokers believes recent growth has been strong, both from a sales and profits perspective, and the deal is expected to be modestly earnings enhancing in year one.

Tony Turner and Paul Williams, the vendors, will continue in their current positions as managing director and operations director respectively at Kingston Foods.

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AB InBev Consolidates Global Leadership With $20.1 Billion Acquisition


Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to acquire the remaining stake in Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it does not already own for $20.1 billion. The combination is expected to yield annual synergies of at least $600 million and add the Corona brand to the AB InBev’s portfolio.

The agreement is a natural next step given AB InBev’s existing economic stake of more than 50% in Grupo Modelo and the successful long-term partnership between the two companies. The combined company would lead the global beer industry with roughly 400 million hectoliters of beer volume annually and 2012 estimated revenues of $47 billion. Its operations would span 24 countries with a workforce of 150,000 people.

Carlos Brito, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“Grupo Modelo has been one of our most important partners for more than 20 years and we are very pleased to evolve our long and successful relationship into this combination,” says Carlos Brito, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev. “There is tremendous opportunity from combining two leading brand portfolios and further expanding Grupo Modelo’s brands worldwide through AB InBev’s extensive global distribution network.”

The combination would bring together five of the top six and seven of the top ten most valuable beer brands in the world, each with distinct brand imagery and consumer positioning. The combined company would unite Grupo Modelo’s number one position in the world’s fourth largest profit pool with AB InBev’s leading global position, further increasing AB InBev’s exposure to fast-growing developing markets.

Building on its rich tradition and unique brand positioning, Corona would become a global flagship brand alongside Budweiser and join global brands Stella Artois and Beck’s. There will be meaningful opportunities to grow Corona globally outside the US and Mexico, given AB InBev’s established platform for distribution worldwide and the resources at its disposal as the leading global brewer.

Grupo Modelo’s name, identity, heritage and headquarters in Mexico Citywill be maintained, and the company will continue to have a local board.

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Greencore Makes Further Platform Acquisition in the US


Greencore has further strengthened its business in the US with the acquisition of  HC Schau & Son, a fresh food manufacturer with facilities in Chicago, Illinois and Jacksonville, Florida. The acquisition, which is worth up to $19 million, will form a critical part of the supply network for a significant new multi-regional contract gain in Food to Go with a national food service chain.

Schau is a producer of fresh sandwiches and sushi as well as fresh entrees and other ready to eat items, sold through both the convenience store and grocery retail channels. It has an established modern facility in Chicago and a new high quality start-up facility in Jacksonville. For the year ended December 2011, it had revenues of $32 million (£20.5 million).

The Acquisition provides the capability and capacity to drive growth in the US, both with existing customers and with the recent new business win. It will build on the acquisition of Marketfare Foods in April 2012 by adding scale with 7-Eleven, to whom Schau is a long-term supplier in the Chicago region. In addition, Greencore has put in place a multi-year partnership with the new customer to supply its stores with approximately $50 million of Food to Go products on the east coast and in the mid-west from four of Greencore’s facilities. The delivery of this new business will be phased in between September 2012 and March 2013.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Greencore will pay an upfront cash consideration of $13.0 million plus deferred cash consideration of $4.3 million. An additional cash amount of up to $2.0 million will be payable dependent on certain performance conditions. The transaction will be funded from existing debt facilities and will have a minimal impact on the Greencore’s leverage. It is expected to be modestly earnings accretive from the first year of ownership. Integration and transaction expenses are estimated at $2.5 million and will be treated as an exceptional item.

Patrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore, says: “Schau, along with Marketfare, will allow us to take a strong step forward in executing the next stage of our US strategy. Greencore now has a Food to Go platform in the US that will not only enable us to better serve our existing customers, but also to support what is a significant and exciting new business opportunity.”

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Danone Expands in Morocco With €550 Million Acquisition


Danone is paying Eur550 million to increase its stake from 29.2% to 67% in Moroccan dairy company Centrale Laitiere. Danone has held its 29.2% shareholding since 2001.

Centrale Laitiere is Morocco’s leading dairy products company with nearly 60% of the market. It has sales of around Eur600 million in a fast-growing market and operates the country’s largest distribution platform with 30 storage hubs serving 70,000 points of sales. The Danone brand is already very well known in Morocco through products including Yawmy, Moufid and Activia, all sold by Centrale Laitiere.

The deal represents a key step in Danone’s development in Morocco. It will allow the French food and beverages group to invest more in a market with major potential, and thus support growth of the local dairy industry. The move also confirms the strategic appeal of markets in North Africa for Danone.

 

This acquisition is subject to the approval of relevant authorities and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2012. With a majority interest, Danone will fully integrate Centrale Laitiere into its consolidated accounts, and the transaction will be accretive for Danone net earnings per share from the first year.

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Chinese Food Giant Diversifies into Wine


Bright Food, one of China’s largest food groups, is diversifying into the wine sector by acquiring a 70% stake in Diva Bordeaux for an undisclosed sum. The move is in line with the Chinese group’s strategy of developing globally.

Bright Food recently acquired 60% of Weetabix Food Company, the second largest branded manufacturer by value of ready-to-eat cereals and cereal bars in theUK, from private equity firm Lion Capital for an enterprise value of £1.2 billion.

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Molson Coors Completes €2.65 Acquisition


Molson Coors Brewing Company has completed its previously announced acquisition of StarBev for approximately €2.65 billion. Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors UK & Ireland business, will serve as chief executive of the new business unit, which has been renamed Molson Coors Central Europe.

Molson Coors Central Europe employs approximately 4,100 people, operates nine breweries and sells its market-leading brands in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia. The acquisition includes Staropramen, the business unit’s flagship brand with sales in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Prior to his appointment as chief executive of the UK & Ireland business in 2007, Mark Hunter served as chief commercial officer for Molson Coors Canada where he was responsible for all sales and marketing activities. He worked in a number of senior roles since joining the brewing industry in 1989, including managing the export markets and business unit strategy for Bass Brewers and marketing management of the Carling brand. He also has served on the board of Bass Brewers as marketing director and on the board of Coors Brewers.

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Greencore Selling Chilled Desserts Plant to Muller UK


Greencore is disposing of its chilled desserts facility in Minsterley to the Muller Dairy UK for £4.3 million. Under the terms of the disposal, ownership of the facility will transfer to Muller and the co-packing arrangement for Cadbury chilled desserts will terminate.

The disposal is expected to complete at the start of January 2013, by which time the transfer of production of other premium desserts lines and related manufacturing equipment to Greencore’s Evercreech facility will have been completed. This would then conclude the restructuring of the chilled desserts business, which Greencore acquired from Uniq in September 2011.

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Kellogg Completes $2.7 Billion Acquisition of Pringles


Kellogg Company has completion of its acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s Pringles business. The $2.69 billion acquisition further strengthens Kellogg Company’s competitive position in global snacks, making Kellogg the world’s second-largest savoury snacks player.

“The addition of Pringles to our portfolio significantly advances the company’s strategic goal of building a global snacks business on par with our global cereal business, and expanding our global footprint,” says John Bryant, Kellogg Company’s president and chief executive officer.

The Pringles acquisition nearly triples the size of Kellogg Company’s international snacks business, and adds a complementary product to the company’s high-quality snacks brands including Keebler, Cheez-It and Special K Cracker Chips.

Pringles is the world’s second largest player in savoury snacks, with $1.5 billion in sales across more than 140 countries. It is easily identified by its unique saddle shape and distinct canister packaging, and has more than 80 flavours.

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Parmalat Enters US Dairy Market


Italian dairy group Parmalat has completed the intra-group acquisition of Lactalis American Group for $904 million. The deal marks Parmalat’s entry into the US dairy market, which is one of the largest in the world. It also strengthens Parmalat’s position in Latin America with the addition, to its current activities in Colombia and in Venezuela, of access to high growth markets, such as Brazil and Mexico with cheese products manufactured in Canada, the US and Europe.

Lactalis American Group operates mainly in the US in the production and distribution of cheese and other dairy products. Its portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands includes international brands, such as Galbani and President, and local brands, such as Sorrento, Precious and Mozzarella Fresca. The acquisition includes the distribution, on an exclusive basis, of the products of the Lactalis Group throughout the Americas. In 2011, Lactalis American Group reported revenues of $979.3 million and EBITDA of $84 million; its net financial assets amounted to $19.4 million as at December 31, 2012.

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Bonduelle Gets Green Light For Hungarian Acquisition


Bonduelle Group, the world leader in processed vegetables, has strengthened its position in Central Europe after receiving the approval of the Hungarian competition authorities for its acquisition of Kelet-Food, a canning factory with a capacity of 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes. Located in Nyiregyhaza, north-east of Budapest, Kelet-Food produces canned sweet corn and peas, which it sells under retailers’ own brands at national and local level. The company produced 15,000 tonnes of canned foods in 2011, well below its production capacity.

Bonduelle Group has had an industrial presence in Hungary for 20 years, producing 130,000 tonnes of canned food – mostly sweet corn and peas – in two industrial units, both located in the south of the country: Nagykoros, acquired in 1992, and Bekescsaba, acquired in 2002.

The Kelet-Food plant will enable Bonduelle to supply its booming markets in Central Europe. It is located in a different production area from the group’s other two Hungarian factories, which will allow for a better distribution of agricultural risks

The factory at Nyiregyhaza will be operational for the next harvest with 2,850 ha planted. It employs 60 permanent staff to which will be added 250 seasonal workers this summer. It is expected to produce 20,000 tonnes of sweet corn and 7,000 tonnes of peas.

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Acquisition of Skanemejerier by Lactalis Approved


The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Swedish dairy products and fruit juices company Skanemejerier by French dairy giant Lactalis. The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the markets for dairy products, notably the supply of cream and the procurement of raw milk in Sweden.

The Commission’s investigation showed that the proposed transaction would not significantly alter the market structure in relation to dairy products and that the merged entity would face competitive pressure from a number of credible competitors. It also showed that the proposed transaction was unlikely to lead to a lessening of competition in relation to the procurement of raw milk, since farmers will be able to sell raw milk to third parties to the same extent as before the transaction.

Lactalis is active internationally in the dairy sector. Its core business is the production and marketing of drinking milk, butter, cheeses, fresh dairy, cream and industrial dairy products.

Skanemejerier is active in the dairy sector and especially in the markets for the production and marketing of drinking milk, fresh dairy products, cheeses, cream, butter and juice.

The acquisition of Skanemejerier, which has annual sales of Eur330 million, strengthens the international presence of Lactalis.

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Hain Celestial Makes Strategic Irish Acquisition


Hain Celestial Group, the US-based natural and organic products manufacturer, is extending its international presence into Ireland with the acquisition of Cully & Sully. Cully & Sully is a marketer and manufacturer of natural chilled soups, savory pies and hot pots, all under the Cully & Sully brand, with a range of approximately 20 products. Cully & Sully supplies all major food retailers in Ireland. The founding management team of Cullen Allen (Cully) and Colum O’Sullivan (Sully) will continue to manage all aspects of Cully & Sully reporting to Rob Burnett, chief executive of Hain Daniels Group.

Irwin Simon, founder, president and chief executive of Hain Celestial, comments: “Cully & Sully’s branded soup is similar to our New Covent Garden Soup Co brand in the United Kingdom. We are excited about the prospects to expand our presence into the Irish marketplace with our Hain Celestial and Daniels brands and to expand Cully & Sully chilled fresh soups into the United Kingdom. We see a tremendous opportunity for chilled soups as consumers move away from canned soups and into fresh chilled soups. We also welcome two energetic, creative entrepreneurs, Cully and Sully, to the Hain Celestial Europe team.  We hope to utilize Cully and Sully’s knowledge and expertise for Hain Daniels and here in the United States as we move chilled fresh soups to the North American marketplace.”

The acquisition is expected to be neutral to Hain Celestial’s earnings in fiscal year 2012 and to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2013. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Bright Food to Acquire 60% of Weetabix


Bright Food, one of China’s largest food groups, is acquiring 60% of Weetabix Food Company from private equity firm Lion Capital for an enterprise value of £1.2 billion. The remaining 40% of the shares will continue to be held by Lion Capital and management. The transaction is subject to regulatory and government approvals in China as well as certain anti-trust approvals. Completion of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2012. No further financial details of the transaction are being announced.

Weetabix is the second largest branded manufacturer by value of ready-to-eat cereals and cereal bars in the UK. The company’s portfolio of household brands features the market-leading brand Weetabix, and also includes Weetaflakes, Oatibix, Oatiflakes, Seriously Oaty, Ready Brek, Weetos and Alpen, the leading UK muesli brand. Weetabix’s branded cereal business is enhanced by its number two position in the manufacturing of own label cereals for retailers in the UK. In addition to its strong presence in the UK, the company has operations in North America, South Africa, Germany and Spainand exports to more than 80 countries around the world. Weetabix employs about 1,800 people worldwide and in 2011 generated sales of over £460 million.

Bright Food’s landmark acquisition is an exciting move by the company, signalling its entry into both the UK and global food markets through the iconic Weetabix brand. The transaction will represent the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company in the food and beverage sector. The purchase also supports Bright Food’s strategy of buying famous international brands, developing advanced technology and taking strong competitive positions in each of its markets.

Bright Food is committed to driving the global growth and success of the Weetabix business, with a focus on the potential in Asia and especially in China, to take advantage of the growing appetite in the country for packaged and convenient healthy foods. Bright Food has extensive experience across all aspects of the food industry spanning the primary (agriculture/ farming), secondary (manufacturing of food products) and tertiary (retail and distribution) industries. In addition, it owns a number of well-known trademarks and branded products in Asia’s food processing industry. Bright Food will also offer an excellent ‘route-to-market’ through its extensive retail platform. In 2011, Bright Food generated revenue of $12.2 billion and had an EBITDA of $1.2 billion.

Lyndon Lea, partner of Lion Capital, comments: “The acquisition of Weetabix in 2004 was the first investment of Lion Capital and launched our strategy of investing in high quality consumer brands. Over the eight years that we have owned Weetabix it has generated top-line growth that has outpaced the broader cereal market as a result of increased investment behind the brands and innovation. We are excited to continue our journey with the Weetabix brand, which has been an enormously successful investment, as we extend the business into China in partnership with Bright Food.”

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First Milk Acquires Sports Nutrition Business


UK dairy co-operative First Milk has taken another step into the premium functional food sector with the acquisition of sports nutrition company CNP Professional for an undisclosed sum. CNP Professional is headquartered in Manchester where it markets and sells a broad range of quality products for the sports nutrition market. Its products are targeted at dedicated sportsmen and sportswomen and are currently sold through a range of channels.

The company also works directly with a range of professional athletes across a wide spectrum of competitive sports including football, rugby, boxing, cycling, martial arts, triathlon and motor sports.

First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe explains the rationale behind the purchase: “Last September we set up a joint venture with the New Zealand company Fonterra to produce premium whey proteins to go into functional food products for consumers across Europe. That experience and the growth projections on functional foods sharpened our interest, and since last summer we have looked at a number of opportunities that would add value to our existing business.”

He continues: “We were particularly attracted to the sports nutrition sector where the market inBritainhas more than doubled in the last 5 years, with this strong growth predicted to be maintained over the next 5 years.”

CNP Professional is regarded as a good fit for First Milk due to its sector credibility, focused product range, and the fact that it appeals to both mainstream and dedicated sports nutrition users.

“The reason we’re all at First Milk is to build a business that passes back good returns to our farmers in England, Scotland and Wales,” he points out. “While we are rooted inBritain, we have an international perspective and that helps us to see global trends like the increasing focus by consumers on health and nutrition, and take advantage of these trends to shape and diversify our business.”

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Beam Extends Presence in Vodka Category With $605 Million Deal


Beam, the US-based global spirits group, is acquiring the fast-growing Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands and other related assets for $605 million in cash from White Rock Distilleries. Pinnacle Vodka, with 2012 volumes expected to exceed 3 million 9-liter cases, will significantly enhance Beam’s presence in the large, growing vodka category. With a sustained track record of very strong double-digit growth, Pinnacle has already become the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the US.

Pinnacle’s growth is broad-based across its product line, as its unflavoured and flavoured variants have each achieved the one-million case threshold. Pinnacle’s classic unflavoured vodka was the US market’s fastest-growing non-flavoured imported vodka in 2011, and Pinnacle has also pioneered the most exciting flavours in the vodka category, including the successful Pinnacle line of whipped dessert-flavoured vodkas. Pinnacle’s track record of successful flavour innovation places the brand at the core of the category’s growth, as flavours generate the vast majority of vodka’s growth in the US.

“Pinnacle is an excellent strategic fit for Beam, giving us a strong and exciting growth platform in the sweet-spot of the attractive vodka category,” says Matt Shattock, president and chief executive of Beam. “With the synergy-driven addition of Pinnacle, which will become one of our largest Power Brands, Beam will further enhance its ability to maximize value for shareholders.”

Beam has identified significant potential cost synergy opportunities – expected to exceed 20% of the brands’ net sales – particularly from leveraging Beam’s US distribution and supply chain scale, procurement benefits and overhead efficiencies. Driven by the strong growth outlook for the brands and meaningful cost synergies, the company anticipates generating an internal rate of return substantially in excess of the double-digit risk-adjusted cost of capital for the transaction.

Net of the transaction’s expected tax benefits associated with the purchase of assets, the effective purchase price values the brands at approximately 17 times projected 2012 standalone EBITDA (or 20 times EBITDA excluding tax benefits). Including expected run-rate cost synergies, the effective transaction multiple net of tax benefits would be well below 10 times EBITDA.

Beam expects to finance the acquisition with either existing credit facilities or new debt, or a combination of both. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012.

Matt Shattock continues: “With our plans to substantially increase brand investment in Pinnacle, plus our marketing and innovation capabilities and our global distribution assets, we look forward to taking Pinnacle to the next level and establishing Beam as a leader in the sizeable vodka category. Since the start of 2011, we’ll have built our presence in ready-to-serve cocktails, Irish whiskey and now vodka with another bolt-on acquisition that will leverage substantial brand-building, distribution and cost synergies to deliver highly attractive growth and returns for our shareholders.”

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Nestle to Acquire Pfizer Nutrition For $11.85 Billion


In a strategic move to enhance its position in global infant nutrition, Nestle has agreed to acquire Pfizer Nutrition for $11.85 billion (Eur9.01 billion). Nestle estimates Pfizer Nutrition’s 2012 sales at $2.4 billion, with 85% generated in emerging markets, many of them with large, fast-growing populations. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

Infant nutrition is a high-value, science-led category. Pfizer Nutrition complements Nestle’s existing portfolio with strong brands in key segments and geographies. It will enhance Nestle’s infant nutrition business allowing it to combine well-known brands like S-26 Gold, SMA and Promil with the existing portfolio of trusted and successful brands such as Nan, Gerber, Lactogen, Nestogen and Cerelac infant cereal.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle comments: “Infant nutrition has been at the heart of our company since it was founded in 1866. Pfizer Nutrition is an excellent strategic fit and this acquisition underlines our commitment to be the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Its strong brands and product portfolio, its talented people dedicated to the success of its business, together with its geographic presence – 85% of its sales are in emerging markets – will complement our existing infant nutrition business perfectly. The combined entities will enable us to deepen our engagement with consumers, offering them a wider choice of nutritious food to ensure their children make a healthy start to a healthy life.”

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United Coffee Sold to Japanese Group


United Coffee, Europe’s leading independent coffee group, is being sold by private equity fund, CapVest Equity Partners, to UCC Holdings, Japan’s leading coffee company. The transaction is expected to complete during the second quarter of 2012 and will bring together two leading coffee groups from Europe and Asia to become one of the top five biggest independent coffee companies in the world. United Coffee will continue to trade as United Coffee across all of its key markets.

UCC is Japan’s largest producer of coffee with a turnover of Eur2.5 billion and employs 3,700 people. It supplies some of Japan’s leading companies in retail, out-of-home and industrial markets and owns successful retail and out-of-home brands. Founded in 1933, UCC remains a family-owned company. UCC has a strong track record in innovation and has pioneered coffee culture in Japan for 80 years, including the invention of canned coffee in 1969. It continues to push the boundaries to reflect the latest consumer trends.

UCC was the first Japanese coffee company to implement the integrated business model and operates a number of coffee businesses with plantations in Jamaica and Hawaii, plus seven plants in Japan. All are certified for their high standards of quality control and operate within strict global safety standards.

Headquartered in Geneva, United Coffee has an annual turnover of Eur422 million. The company produces 72,000 tons of green beans equivalent coffee products at seven major factories in the Netherlands, Spain,Switzerland, UK and France and employs 1,000 people. The group serves major retail customers in Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia, France, Germany, UK and a number of export markets. It markets household brands to the HORECA market with ‘Rosca’ in Switzerland, ‘Templo’ in Spain and ‘Smit & Dorlas’ in Holland.

Gota Ueshima, chief executive of UCC, says: “With the sale of our gift company, Shaddy, last month we have refocused on our long-term strategy of developing a global coffee business. I am very excited that we have been able to acquire one of the greatest coffee companies in Europe and, together with United Coffee, we can create a truly international market- leading coffee group.”

The new group has a number of exciting initiatives planned. Earlier this year United Coffee launched its coffee capsule system to the out-of-home market. Following the acquisition, this is now expected to grow in multiple markets worldwide.

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WILD Flavors to Acquire Cargill’s Global Juice Blends and Compounds Business


Leading natural ingredients company WILD Flavors has agreed to acquire Cargill’s global juice cold blends and compounds business for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will provide WILD with over $200 million in additional annual sales and three ocean-access tank farms in the strategic growth areas of Asia, Europe andNorth America. The transaction is subject to antitrust approvals.

Cargill’s juice cold blends and compounds business is a worldwide leading provider of tailor-made juice blends and compounds for high-fruit content beverages as well as juice concentrates. It operates a global network of production and state-of-the-art tank and storage facilities. They are located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Port Elizabethin the US and in Chibaand Kashima in Japan. These locations will be important assets to support WILD Flavors’ ambitious global growth strategy.

“This acquisition is a key step to continually grow a differentiated and integrated supply chain for juices to the benefit of our customers. Cargill’s business will provide improved raw material access while strengthening our existing juice capabilities,” explains Michael Ponder, chief executive of WILD Flavors. “By broadening our product offering and by providing a truly global supply chain, our customers will profit from WILD Flavor’s unique full-solution approach as the single source of supply for every ingredient needed to produce a high-quality, finished beverage product.”

Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, WILD Flavors is one of the leading natural ingredients companies servicing the global food and beverage industry. It has manufacturing sites in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.

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Greencore Strengthens US Foods Business


Greencore Group, one of the leading convenience food manufacturers in the UK and Ireland, is strengthening its US business with the acquisition of Marketfare Foods for $36.0 million (£22.6 million). Marketfare is a leading manufacturer of food to go products for convenience and small stores in the US. Its principal customer is 7-Eleven, which it has partnered for over 20 years, and it is the largest single supplier of Fresh to Go and 7-Smart store-branded sandwiches, servicing over 1100 7-Eleven stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition, it is an exclusive manufacturer of Casa Buena Cheese and Chili sauces for the entire 7-Eleven chain in the US and Canada.

For the year ended 27 January 2012, revenue for Marketfare was $65 million and EBITDA was $5.7 million. Gross assets at 27 January 2012 were $20.1 million. The transaction is being funded from existing debt facilities. It is expected to be modestly earnings accretive from the first financial year of ownership. Integration and transaction expenses are estimated at $3.5 million and will be treated as an exceptional item.

Patrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore, comments: “The acquisition of Marketfare represents an excellent opportunity for us to further develop our food to go business in the US, building on the successful acquisition of On a Roll in December 2010. It builds additional scale with 7-Eleven, provides new competencies for us in the fast growing food to go category and extends our geographic footprint principally along the Eastern seaboard. The new product capability and geographic expansion provide the opportunity to expand further with our existing customers; the acquisition represents the next step in our strategy to build a business of real scale in the US.”

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Anheuser-Busch InBev Becomes Caribbean Leader With $1.2 Billion Deal


Anheuser-Busch InBev has further strengthened its exposure to emerging markets by taking a majority stake in Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana (CND), one of the largest brewers in the Dominican Republic. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s subsidiary AmBev Brasil has formed a strategic alliance with E Leon Jimenes, which owns 83.5% of. CND, to create the leading beverage company in the Caribbean through the combination of their businesses in the region. The combined business will include beer, malt and soft drinks operations in the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Saint Vincent and Dominica, as well as exports to 16 other countries in the Caribbean, the US and Europe.

AmBev Brasil is making a cash payment of approximately $1.0 billion and contributing AmBev Dominicana. The combined entities would have had net revenues of approximately $570 million in 2011 and are expected to have an estimated combined EBITDA for the first 12 months of operations of approximately $190 million, which implies an EV/EBITDA multiple of approximately 13x.

Separately, AmBev Brasil will acquire an additional stake in CND of 9.3%, which is currently owned by Heineken, for $237 million. This deal will increase AmBev Brasil’s indirect interest in CND to approximately 51%.

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Molson Coors to Acquire StarBev For €2.65 Billion


North American beer group Molson Coors Brewing Company is significantly increasing its international business and exposure to emerging markets by acquiring StarBev from private equity firm CVC for Eur2.65 billion ($3.54 billion). Headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Prague, Czech Republic, StarBev operates nine breweries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and generated sales of approximately Eur0.7 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of Eur241 million in 2011. The purchase price represents a multiple of approximately 11 times EBITDA.

Molson Coors Brewing Company is one of the world’s largest brewers. The company’s operating segments include Canada, the US, the UK, and Molson Coors International (MCI). The company has a diverse portfolio of owned and partner brands, including signature brands Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Carling.

Peter Swinburn, president and chief executive of Molson Coors.

“The acquisition of StarBev fits squarely into Molson Coors’ strategy to increase our portfolio of premium brands and deepen our reach into growth markets around the world,” says Peter Swinburn, president and chief executive of Molson Coors. “The Central and Eastern European beer market is attractive, with strong historical trends and upside potential as the region returns to its pre-economic-crisis growth rates.”

He continues: “StarBev, as a market leader in the CEE region, provides Molson Coors with a great platform for growth and an excellent foundation from which to extend our key brands, such as Carling, into Central and Eastern Europe. Staropramen, StarBev’s international flagship brand, will also enhance our portfolio in some of our current and planned markets.”

StarBev, which employs about 4,100 people, has brewing operations in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro and also sells its brands in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia. StarBev brews 13.3 million hectolitres annually and holds a top three market share position in each of its markets. Starbev’s portfolio of more than 20 brands includes local champions such as Borsodi, Kamenitza, Bergenbier, Ozusko, Jelen and Niksicko and also distributes brands such as StellaArtois, Beck’s, Hoegaarden, Lowenbrau and Leffe under license.

Following the acquisition, Molson Coors expects that significantly more of its revenue will come from growth and emerging markets. The CEE markets are expected to benefit from positive volume and per capita consumption trends over the long-term.

Molson Coors expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in the first full year of operations and to generate approximately $50 million of pre-tax operational synergies by 2015, primarily through production efficiencies, procurement, systems and related areas.

The transaction is subject to approval by certain European competition authorities and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Following the close, StarBev will be operated as a separate business unit within Molson Coors and will remain headquartered in the Czech Republic.

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Cranswick Sells Stake in Farmers Boy (Deeside) to Morrisons


Cranswick, one of the leading UK suppliers of pork products, has sold its 49% stake in Farmers Boy (Deeside) to supermarket group Morrisons for an undisclosed price. Farmers Boy produces 1.5 million packs of sliced ham and poultry products a week from its 175,000 sq ft factory and employs 600 people. 

The business was acquired by Morrisons and Cranswick in July 2010 but has been substantially expanded since following investment of about £30 million. The acquisition is in line with Morrisons’ plans to become the UK’s largest fresh food manufacturer by 2015. Morrisons aims to complete a £200 million investment in the expansion of its manufacturing food arm by 2013.

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Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken Chase $1.5 Billion Acquisition


Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken are reported to be competing to acquire Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana (CND), the largest brewer in the Dominican Republic. CND, which also sells its beer in the Caribbean islands and in the United States, is owned by Grupo Leon Jimenes. The likely price tag for CND is $1.5 billion and a deal could be concluded within weeks.

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Acquisition of Cumbrian Seafoods Approved


The UK Office of Fair Trading has cleared the acquisition of Cumbrian Seafoods by private equity company Lion Capital, which also owns Young’s Seafood, the UK’s leading chilled and frozen fish and seafood company. The OFT examined the implications of the deal, particularly with regard to whether it gave Young’s Seafood a dominant position in the smoked salmon market as well as greater market power in chilled seafood, but has decided not to refer it to the Competition Commission.

Lion Capital acquired Cumbrian Seafoods which is the UK’s leading independent seafood company, late last year from the administrator. Earlier this year, Young’s Seafood announced that, following a review of the operations of Cumbrian Seafoods and its subsidiary Border Laird, some 555 jobs were being cut from the business across its three sites in the UK – a state-of-the-art seafood processing plant at Seaham in County Durham, a smokery at Whitehaven in Cumbria and the Border Laird shellfish facility at Amble in Northumberland. According to Young’s Seafood, the fact that Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration indicated that its business model was not viable and major restructuring was required.

 

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Eden Springs Entering the Coffee Market


By acquiring the coffee activities from Thecafe, the Dutch market leader in water coolers, Eden Springs, has established a platform for its planned growth in the office coffee service market. Eden Springs is Europe’s leading provider of water solutions for the workplace, offering a broad range of bottle-fed water coolers and plumbed-in water coolers. With a network of branches and water sources across 15 European countries, Eden bottles and distributes more than 368 million litres of water annually and services more than 450,000 clients. In order to broaden its drinking solutions’ concept, Eden Springs is also providing different coffee solutions for all kinds of workplaces.

Raanan Zilberman, chief executive of the Eden Springs Group comments: “This acquisition will enable Eden Springs to offer all customers a full hydration package, with mains and bottle-fed water coolers and a complete range of hot beverage solutions including premium coffee, hot chocolate, tea and even soup.”

In The Netherlands the Thecafe’s industry knowledge will help to provide Eden customers with the very best advice and a wide selection of coffee machine solutions.

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Diageo Gains Regulatory Approval For £630 Million Chinese Acquisition


Diageo has received Chinese regulatory clearance to acquire the outstanding shares of Sichuan Shuijingfang Co for £630 million. ShuiJingFang is one of the largest super premium Chinese white spirits brand by volume in China. The company is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Diageo made its first 43% investment in February 2007 and increased its shareholding to 49% in July 2008. It then increased its shareholding to 53% in July 2011. Since 2007, Diageo has begun distributing the ShuiJingFang portfolio across South East Asia, Korea, Australia and in the USA.

Super premium Chinese white spirits is one of the largest, fastest growing spirits segments in the world

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FrieslandCampina Strengthens its Position in Asia With $457 Million Acquisition


Royal FrieslandCampina has purchased a controlling interest in Alaska Milk Corporation, one of the largest dairy companies in the Philippines and listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. FrieslandCampina is paying $302 million to increase its stake from about 8.1% to 68.9% by purchasing the shares held by the Uytengsu family, the founders and controlling shareholders of AMC.

In compliance with regulatory requirements, FrieslandCampina will launch a tender offer for the remaining outstanding publicly traded shares at an identical price, bringing the full value of the acquisition up to $457 million (Eur349 million). The acquisition adds a market of approximately 100 million consumers to FrieslandCampina’s existing consumer base.

With annual revenues of over Eur200 million, AMC has emerged as the leading player in the Philippine milk industry. For over thirty years it has displayed strong growth, consistent brand leadership in the canned liquid milk category and a strong and growing position in powdered milk. It has also recently expanded into higher value-added milk products, particularly in the ready-to-drink milk category. The company employs about a thousand people and has a production facility in San Pedro, Laguna.

This transaction will strengthen FrieslandCampina’s position inAsia, which is a strategic growth area for the dairy multinational. FrieslandCampina is already present in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The acquisition will strengthen FrieslandCampina’s Consumer Products International business that also produces and sells dairy products in the Middle East and Africa, increasing its annual global revenues from Eur2.5 billion to nearly Eur2.7 billion. The deal furthers FrieslandCampina’s strategic route2020 goals.

Cees ‘t Hart, chief executive of Royal FrieslandCampina, comments: “Adding AMC gives us a strong, high-growth platform in the Philippines and access to a market of around 100 million customers. It also confirms our international ambition to enter markets where FrieslandCampina can create value. AMC’s management has already built up an outstanding position in the Philippine market. Together we can expand this position by introducing tried and tested FrieslandCampina concepts that have been successful in other parts of the world.”

FrieslandCampina will fund the transaction through short-term debt financing, preserving balance sheet flexibility. The transaction is expected to close around May 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of certain regulatory approvals.

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Robert Wiseman Dairies Delisted


Robert Wiseman Dairies has been delisted from the London Stock Exchange following its £279.5 million acquisition by Muller Dairy (UK), the British subsidiary of German dairy group Muller. Operating from six major processing dairies in Aberdeen, East Kilbride, Glasgow, Manchester, Droitwich Spa and Bridgwater, Robert Wiseman Dairies processes and delivers more than 30% of the fresh milk consumed in Britain, every day. Based at Market Drayton in Shropshire, Muller Dairy (UK) is the overall market leader in chilled yoghurts and potted desserts in the UK.

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FlavourCraft Deal ‘Perfect Fit’ For Kerry


Kerry Ingredients & Flavours has completed the acquisition of South African flavours company FlavourCraft for an undisclosed sum. The deal sees Kerry expand its presence not just in South Africa, serving food manufacturers in the country, but across the continent. Established in 1993, Durban-based FlavourCraft specialises in the design and manufacture of flavours for meats, soups, sauces, dressings and savoury snacks in the South African and sub-Saharan markets, particularly in Nigeria.

“FlavourCraft and Kerry ingredients & Flavours are a perfect fit, with the same views around creating market-leading flavour ingredients,” comments Ryan Ponquett, managing director of FlavourCraft. “By teaming up with a like-minded global player our customers and those across the continent will gain access to Kerry’s huge taste, ingredients and applications knowledge. This will enable them to bring customer-preferred products to market faster and at better value.”

Kerry’s Africa zone director Bart van Schie says: “This acquisition represents a clear illustration of Kerry’s commitment to developing our business across Africa. FlavourCraft’s product portfolio, knowledge and customer base in South Africa, Nigeria and across west Africa will be an asset to us and assist our expansion plans across the continent.”

The FlavourCraft deal also provides Kerry with a major manufacturing facility in Africa, a 4000 square metre factory outside Durban, and brings with it a first class customer and application centre, providing local research and development capability, which will enable Kerry to expand its capability in developing and producing ingredients to meet local market needs.

This latest acquisition complements another recently made by Kerry in the region – that of Cargill’s flavour business inSouth Africa. Taken together these acquisitions, backed by Kerry’s market leading technologies and R&D capabilities, create a powerful flavours force in the region.

 

CAPTION:

The laboratory facilities at FlavourCraft – Kerry’s new acquisition in South Africa.

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Carlsberg to Acquire Full Control of Baltika


Carlsberg Group intends acquiring the remaining 15% stake in its Russian subsidiary, Baltika Breweries, for up to DKr6.5 billion (Eur870 million). The move will involve a delisting of Baltika.

The net cost to Carlsberg for increasing its ownership from around 85% to 100% in 2012 and beyond will be a maximum of DKr4.4 billion due to a positive impact from financial arrangements. Full ownership of Baltika will give Carlsberg greater operational flexibility. When completed, the transaction is expected to be immediately earnings-enhancing.

Russia is the world’s 4th largest beer market and Carlsberg firmly believes in the long-term market and profit pool growth opportunities. The transaction is in line with the Carlsberg’s strategy of having 100% ownership of its most important subsidiaries to achieve greater operational flexibility.

By having 100% ownership of Baltika, the company can be fully integrated into the Carlsberg Group which will speed up the implementation of decisions and also make Baltika a vital part of the back-end integration which Carlsberg has accelerated recently.

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Kellogg Company to Acquire Pringles For $2.7 Billion


Kellogg Company has agreed to acquire Procter & Gamble’s Pringles business for $2.695 billion. Pringles is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg and significantly advances the company’s goal of building a global snacks business on par with its global cereal business.

Pringles is the world’s second largest player in savoury snacks, with $1.5 billion in sales across more than 140 countries and manufacturing operations in the US, Europe and Asia. The stacked potato crisp has been a mainstay in supermarket snack aisles for more than four decades and is immediately identified by snack lovers worldwide by its unique saddle shape and distinct canister packaging.

Kellogg has established a strong US-based snacks business since its successful acquisition of Keebler more than a decade ago. With the acquisition of Pringles, the company will build a truly global snacks platform and organisation for further growth.

Pringles’ brand strength and consumer appeal fit well with Kellogg Company’s core strengths in brand-building and innovation, adding a complementary product to its high-quality snacks brands, most notably Keebler, Cheez-It and Special K Cracker Chips. In the US, the acquisition provides a new source of growth for the company’s already strong presence in the snacks category.

Internationally, Pringles provides a strong brand and an established platform from which Kellogg can more aggressively leverage its brands in the international snacks category. Kellogg will benefit from the collective expertise of more than 1,700 Pringles employees.

Kellogg and P&G expect to complete the transaction in the summer of 2012, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

“Pringles has an extensive global footprint that catapults Kellogg to the number two position in the worldwide savory snacks category, helping us achieve our objective of becoming a truly global cereal and snacks company,” says John Bryant, president and chief executive of Kellogg Company.

US-based snack foods group Diamond Foods had agreed to acquire Pringles from Procter & Gamble in April 2011. However, the $2.35 billion deal, which was expected to close in December 2011, was deferred following the decision to investigate an accounting irregularity at Diamond Foods. This investigation recently resulted in Diamond Foods announcing that its financial statements for 2010 and 2011 could not be relied on and would need to be restated. It also placed its president and chief executive, Michael Mendes, and chief financial officer, Steven Neil, on administrative leave and commenced a search for their permanent replacements.

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Barry Callebaut to Acquire American Chocolate Decorations Manufacturer


Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, is acquiring Mona Lisa Food Products, a leader in chocolate decorations products in the US. The currently privately owned company will be integrated into Barry Callebaut’s North American Gourmet & Specialties Products business.

The acquisition of Mona Lisa confirms Barry Callebaut’s intention to further accelerate the growth of its Gourmet & Specialties Products business and to add more adjacent products to the company’s offerings for professional users of chocolate such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers and the HORECA business (hotels, restaurants, catering). With the acquisition of Mona Lisa Food Products, Barry Callebaut will also strengthen its global footprint and establish a dedicated foothold for decorations products in the US. The newly acquired company complements the business activities of Barry Callebaut’s center of competence for chocolate decorations located in Zundert (The Netherlands).

Mona Lisa Food Products generated sales revenue approaching SFr9 million (Eur8 million) in 2011 with employs about 40 people. The deal is expected to close in March 2012. The two parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.

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Muller’s Recommended Cash Offer For Wiseman Declared Unconditional


Having purchased or received valid acceptances for 93.9% of the ordinary share capital of Robert Wiseman Dairies, the UK liquid milk processor, German dairy group Muller has declared its recommended cash offer unconditional. Wiseman has now applied for the cancellation of its listing on the London Stock Exchange, a process which should be completed by early March. Wiseman will then be re-registered as a private company.

Muller’s UK subsidiary, Muller Dairy (UK), made its £279.5 million recommended cash offer for Robert Wiseman Dairies on January 16th 2012. Operating from six major processing dairies in Aberdeen, East Kilbride, Glasgow, Manchester, Droitwich Spa and Bridgwater, Robert Wiseman Dairies processes and delivers more than 30% of the fresh milk consumed in Britain, every day. Muller Dairy (UK) is the overall market leader in chilled yoghurts and potted desserts in the UK.

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SABMiller and Molson Coors Move into Fast Growing US Cider Market


SABMiller and Molson Coors, through their MillerCoors brewing joint venture in the US, have moved into the cider market, the American beer industry’s fastest-growing category. Tenth and Blake Beer Company, MillerCoors’ craft beer and import division, has acquired Crispin Cider Company, the third largest producer of cider in the US.

Crispin Cider Company produces European-style natural hard apple ciders using fermented unpasteurized fresh-pressed apple juice. The company also imports a classic English Dry Cider, Crispin Browns Lane.

SABMiller and Molson Coors formed their US joint venture, MillerCoors, in 2008. MillerCoors created Tenth and Blake Beer Company in 2010 to be a leader in the crafts and import segment.

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Fuller Smith & Turner Expands Pub Estate


UK regional brewer and pub company Fuller, Smith & Turner has agreed to acquire 15 freehold, tied, tenanted pubs from Enterprise Inns for £22.9 million. Fuller will fund the transaction from existing bank facilities. UnderEnterprise’s ownership, these pubs generated operating profits of £1.7 million in the year to 30 September and had a balance sheet value of £18.4 million as of that date.

The pubs are all freehold and will allow Fuller to bring its Fuller’s brand into areas of the west and south east of England where it has previously been under-represented.

Simon Emeny, group managing director of Fuller, Smith & Turner, comments: “The transaction demonstrates the continuation of our strategy to selectively purchase only the highest quality pubs, where the Fuller’s name and operating style can add real value. This deal will take the total number of pubs acquired by Fuller’s in the last 12 months to 29, giving the business tremendous momentum as we head towards the summer of 2012.”

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The Greenery UK Acquires John Baarda


The Greenery UK, one of the leading suppliers of fruit, vegetables and mushrooms to supermarkets and wholesalers across Britain, has acquired John Baarda, the second largest tomato producer in the UK. The move follows several years of poor financial performance and operational challenges at John Baarda. The Greenery UK is part of The Netherlands-based business The Greenery BV, which is a subsidiary of the grower owned co-operative Corforta.

“The UK supply of tomatoes is obviously what is important to British consumers, our retail partners, and consequently our business,” says Kevin Doran, managing director of Greenery UK. “AcrossEuropewe are involved in ‘local for local’ partnerships with domestic producers. This is consistent with that posture, so with the support of producer partners we elected to step in with the required financing.”

A new managing director and board have been named for David Baarda. Nigel Bartle, currently general manager of Cornerways Nursery in Wissington, has been named equity partner and managing director by Greenery UK effective from 1 March 2012. Nigel Bartle has been successfully managing British Sugar’s horticultural business, Cornerways Nursery, since 2001 and is currently the chairman of the British Tomato Growers Association.

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Morrisons Expands Food Manufacturing Capacity With Acquisition


UK grocery chain Morrisons has expanded its meat processing operations with the acquisition of a 105,000 sq ft facility in Winsford, Cheshire from Vion UK, part of the Netherlands-based meat co-operative. The site is a centralised fresh pork and lamb retail packing plant which has the capacity to expand into beef products and increase its overall existing production. The acquisition will give Morrisons even greater capacity as it continues to grow and exert greater control over the quality of the meat products sold in store.

Morrisons is the second largest fresh food manufacturer in Britain, employing over 7,000 people, and a central part of its differentiation from its competitors is this vertically integrated model. The food retailer owns a number of bakeries, meat processing facilities and produce packing factories, enabling it to have a greater control over the quality, cost and the supply of fresh food into its 476 stores nationwide.

Over 300 staff at the facility in Winsford will have their jobs secured as a result of the deal, with the potential for further roles in the next year as the business grows. This acquisition is the latest in a number of transactions to strengthen Morrisons’ manufacturing capabilities. Morrisons has pledged to invest £200 million over a three year period to support the growth of the business and acquired Derby-based FlowerWorld last year, a specialist cut flowers business, as part of this.

“Owning the manufacturing sites that produce our fresh food is crucial to Morrisons because it ensures we can control quality and keep down costs for our customers,” explains Martyn Fletcher, group manufacturing director of Morrisons. “As Morrisons continues to grow, it is important we have the facilities to support us. This facility is a high quality, purpose built meat processing factory and will be an ideal addition to the fantastic manufacturing sites we already own.”

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Bonduelle Closes in on Russian Acquisition


Bonduelle Group, the world leader in processed vegetables, has concluded negotiations regarding the acquisition of the agro-industrial and commercial assets of French co-operative CECAB in Russia and in the countries of the Confederation of Independent States (CIS). The acquisition, which was announced last October, should take effect in the first quarter of 2012 for the start of the sowing season for the 2012 harvest. It is however still subject to the agreement of the Russian competition authorities.

Bonduelle has had a commercial presence in Russia and in central and eastern European countries, where it enjoys a leading position in canned vegetables, since the 1990s. Bonduelle currently supplies its markets in the region from three factories: two in Hungary. and one in Russia, which is currently operating at maximum capacity.

In 2007 the CECAB group, which has been present inRussia since 2001, invested in the construction of a factory in Timachevsk, 30 kilometres from the Bonduelle plant. The acquisition will provide Bonduelle with obvious synergies, resulting from the geographical proximity of the two Russian plants.

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Beam Completes Irish Whiskey Acquisition


US-based global spirits group Beam has completed its $95 million acquisition of Cooley Distillery, the Irish whiskey producer. The acquisition includes the Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore brands, as well as aging inventory and Cooley’s malt and grain distilleries in Dundalk and Kilbeggan in Ireland.

Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey and was the category’s only remaining independent producer. Beam expects the acquisition to be earnings neutral in 2012 reflecting substantial initial brand investment, and increasingly accretive in future years.

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing spirits companies, Beam is excited to enter one of the world’s fastest-growing spirits categories,” says Matt Shattock, president and chief executive of Beam.

“Beam can do in ten years what it would take Cooley, on its own, thirty years to do,” says John Teeling, chairman of Cooley Distillery. “The market opportunity for Irish whiskey is now and it is substantial. Beam has particular strengths in the main fast growing Irish whiskey markets and so will be well able to take advantage of this Irish renaissance.”

The Irish whiskey category grew 11.5% in 2010 to 4.86 million  cases according to Impact Databank. The leading markets for Irish whiskey, according to Impact, are the US,Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, South Africa and Germany. Cooley currently sells approximately 250,000 9-liter cases per year – divided among its brands, private label products and bulk sales to third-party customers – and has production capacity to support substantial future growth.

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