Tag Archive | "disposal"

Premier Foods Disposing of Sweet Spreads and Jellies Business to Hain Celestial


Premier Foods has agreed to sell its sweet spreads and jellies business, including the Hartley’s, Robertson’s, Frank Cooper, Keiller, Gales and Sun-Pat brands, to The Hain Celestial Group for a cash and share consideration of £200 million. The sale, which is subject to approval by Premier Foods’ shareholders and consent from Premier Foods’ banking syndicate, expected to complete by the end of October 2012. The consideration will be satisfied by £170 million in cash and the issue of shares in Hain Celestial with a value of at least £30 million at completion.

This sale represents the third divestiture Premier Foods has announced this year following agreement on its new financing arrangements in March 2012, and continues its strategy of prioritising investment behind its Power Brands and divesting selected, non-core businesses.

The sale includes Hartley’s, Britain’s most popular jam and a category leader in jelly-to-make and ready-to-eat jelly, and a portfolio of marmalade brands in Robertson’s, Frank Cooper, Keiller and the licence for Rose’s marmalade. Also included in the sale are Sun-Pat, the leading brand of peanut butter in the UK, Gales, the UK’s number two brand in honey and significant private label and business-to-business sales. The products are predominantly manufactured at Premier Foods’ Histon factory, near Cambridge, which will also be sold to Hain Celestial.

For the year ended 31 December 2011, sales of the sweet spreads and jellies business were £165.0 million, of which 59% were branded sales. EBITDA3 for the year ended 31 December 2011 was £38.3 million and Trading profit was £36.1 million. The gross assets of the business being sold were £161.0 million as at 30 June 2012.

Michael Clarke, chief executive of Premier Foods, comments: “This divestment is a major step forward in our strategy to simplify the business and focus on our Power Brands. Following completion of this sale, we will have raised around £275 million of the £330 million disposal proceeds that we committed to achieving by June 2014. This will represent a 22% reduction in our net debt since the half year.”

Irwin D Simon, founder, president and chief executive of Hain Celestial, says: “In order for Hain Celestial to become the largest healthy food company in the United Kingdom, we needed to expand into ambient grocery where we have seen health and nutrition gain traction with consumers. The acquisition of the Premier Foods brands furthers our goal to expand in the United Kingdom with the addition of ambient grocery products.”

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Disposing of Sweet Spreads and Jellies Business to Hain Celestial

Unilever to Sell Frozen Meals Business in North America


Unilever has agreed to sell its North America frozen meals business to ConAgra Foods for a total cash consideration of $265 million (Eur216 million). Unilever’s North America frozen meals business consists of a full range of premium, multi-serve frozen entrees and appetizers under the well-known Bertolli and PF Chang’s brand names.

The transaction, subject to regulatory review, includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name and the transfer of Unilever’s existing license with PF Chang’s. It does not include Unilever’s facility in Owensboro in Kentucky, at which the Bertolli and PF Chang’s frozen meals are currently produced. Unilever will retain the Bertolli trademark and continue its existing pasta sauce business, with manufacturing operations remaining at its Kentucky facility.

Unilever’s decision to divest its North American frozen meals business is in line with its global strategy to exit the frozen foods business. Unilever previously divested its European frozen foods business.

In 2011, the combined Bertolli and PF Chang’s brands had turnover of approximately $300 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Unilever to Sell Frozen Meals Business in North America

Pernod Ricard Selling Danish and German Brands For €103 Million


Pernod Ricard is disposing of its Danish aquavit brands Aalborg and Brøndums, the German brand Malteserkreuz Aquavit and the Danish bitter brand Gammel Dansk to Arcus-Gruppen, a leading player in the production, sale and distribution of wine and spirits in the Nordic region. The Eur103 million deal also includes the sale of the Aalborg production plant in Denmark.

The disposal is in line with Pernod Ricard’s strategy to focus on its priority brands. The closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of the financial year 2012/13.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Pernod Ricard Selling Danish and German Brands For €103 Million

Dairy Crest to Sell St Hubert For €430 Million


Dairy Crest, the UK’s leading dairy foods company, has received a binding offer from Montagu Private Equity to acquire St Hubert, the French branded spreads business, for a cash consideration of Eur430 million (£3441 million).

The transaction follows Dairy Crest’s announcement in March 2012 of a strategic review of St Hubert. During the review a range of options were considered but as a result of substantial interest from a number of potential purchasers it was decided to pursue a divestment.

St Hubert was purchased in January 2007 for Eur370 million (approximately £248 million). Since its acquisition Dairy Crest has increased the revenue and EBIT for St Hubert by 35% and 45%, respectively.

St Hubert has been a successful part of the Dairy Crest group and has consistently increased its market share and profitability. However, Dairy Crest has been unable to make additional synergistic acquisitions in Continental Europe as it envisaged at the time of the acquisition and it believes that greater value may be generated for shareholders through the proposed disposal of St Hubert.

For the year ended 31 March 2012, St Hubert generated EBITDA of Eur48.1 million and EBIT of Eur46.1 million. The gross assets of St Hubert at 31 March 2012 were Eur169 million (£1413 million).

Following the disposal, Dairy Crest will remain a broadly based dairy business entirely focused on the UK with strong brands including CathedralCity, Country Life, Clover and Frijj. It intends to continue to build on the success of its UK branded foods business and restore its Dairies business to a satisfactory level of profitability in the medium term.

“Over the coming months, with a strengthened balance sheet, we will be able to consider a wide range of opportunities including synergistic acquisitions in the UK,” points out Mark Allen, chief executive of Dairy Crest. “This will allow us to employ the same brand-building skills that have contributed to the strong growth of our UK brands and St Hubert’s success. However, we will only do this within strict financial criteria and where an acquisition would add value for shareholders.”

Posted in NewsComments Off on Dairy Crest to Sell St Hubert For €430 Million

Premier Foods to Dispose of Vinegar and Sour Pickles Business


Premier Foods is selling its vinegar and sour pickles business, including the Sarson’s, Haywards and Dufrais brands, to Japan-based Mizkan, for a cash consideration of £41 million. The sale is expected to complete by the end of July 2012.

The disposal represents a further step in Premier Foods’ strategy to prioritise investment behind its eight ‘power brands’ and divest selected, non-core businesses.

For the year ended 31 December 2011, the vinegar and sour pickles business had reported revenues of £34.0 million and EBITDA of £6.2 million. The gross assets of the business being sold as at 31 December 2011 were £31.7 million. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down debt.

The Sarson’s and Haywards brands are the leaders in their respective categories of malt vinegar and pickles in vinegar while Dufrais is the number two brand in speciality vinegar. The brands are predominantly manufactured at the group’s Middleton factory, near Manchester, and all employees at the site are expected to transfer to the buyer.

The transaction includes the production, distribution, sales and marketing of the Sarson’s, Haywards and Dufrais brands, the associated private label business, the Middleton site and the pickled beetroot and piccalilli lines at Premier Foods’ Bury St Edmunds factory.

Premier Foods and Mizkan have entered into a co-packing agreement pursuant to which Premier Foods will continue to manufacture Haywards pickled beetroot and piccalilli for Mizkan at its Bury St Edmunds site for a period of up to 12 months.

Mizkan is one of the leading vinegar manufacturers in the world with operations in Japan, the US, the UK and other Asian countries. It has a stable of well-known international brands under the ‘mizkan’ umbrella brand and is a leader in the liquid condiment category.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods to Dispose of Vinegar and Sour Pickles Business

Heineken to Divest Minority Stake in Dominican Republic Brewery


Heineken is selling its 9.3% minority shareholding in Cervecería Nacional Dominicana in theDominican Republicfor $237 million to AmBev Brasil, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2012 and subsequently Heineken expects to realise a post-tax exceptional book gain of approximately Eur130 million.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Heineken to Divest Minority Stake in Dominican Republic Brewery

Permira Considers Disposal of Birds Eye Iglo


Private equity firm Permira is considering the sale of its Birds Eye Iglo European branded frozen food business after receiving a number of approaches. Permira is reported to have appointed Credit Suisse to manage a sales process.

Birds Eye Iglo produces fish, vegetables, poultry and ready meals, including a number of iconic products such as fish fingers, schlemmer filets and sofficini. The Group operates under three brands: Birds Eye (UK and Ireland), iglo (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries) and Findus (Italy).

Birds Eye Iglo was acquired by a company backed by the Permira funds from Unilever in November 2006. In October 2010, the Findus Italy business was also acquired from Unilever. The Permira funds were early to identify Birds Eye Iglo as an attractive opportunity to transform a declining unit of a conglomerate to buildEurope’s largest frozen food platform with reinvigorated and sustainable top-line growth. Since acquisition, Birds Eye Iglo has delivered robust earnings growth through, for example, a strengthened management team and new product development to drive top-line growth.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Permira Considers Disposal of Birds Eye Iglo

Lion Capital Decides Against Findus Nordic Disposal


UK private equity firm Lion Capital is reported to have decided against disposing of the Nordic unit of its Findus frozen foods group. The Nordic business attracted a number of suitors, including Nestle and Norwegian group Orkla, but no agreement was reached on price.

The sale was expected to raise between Eur700 million and Eur800 million with the proceeds being used to reduce Findus’ debt of £721 million. Lion Capital will now inject £75 million to £100 million in capital into Findus to ease the debt burden.

Findus is the leading branded frozen food manufacturer in the Nordic region, with market leadership in Sweden, Norwayand Finland in each of the frozen ready meals, fish and vegetables segments in which it operates. Findus has a strong presence in France, where it has the strongest brand recognition of any frozen food brand. In the UK, the Findus brand was brought back under direct control of the Findus Group in April 2009. Findus Group also owns Young’s Seafood, the UK’s largest supplier of fish and seafood.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Lion Capital Decides Against Findus Nordic Disposal

United Spirits Considering Disposal of Whyte & Mackay Stake


United Spirits, which is part of Indian conglomerate UB Group, is considering disposing of a 49% stake in its Scotch whisky subsidiary Whyte & Mackay to help reduce debt. Controlled by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya UB Group, which owns the troubled Kingfisher Airlines business, has debts of $4 billion. United Spirits would retain its 51% stake in Whyte & Mackay, which it acquired for £595 million in 2007.

Posted in NewsComments Off on United Spirits Considering Disposal of Whyte & Mackay Stake

Premier Foods Completes Disposal of Brookes Avana


Premier Foods has completed the disposal of its loss-making Brookes Avana business, comprising RF Brookes chilled foods and Avana Bakeries, to 2 Sisters Food Group for £30 million in cash. Brookes Avana supplies chilled convenience products, including ready meals, accompaniments, chilled pizza and pies. Avana is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality bakery, cake and dessert products. 

The disposal represents an important step in streamlining Premier’s portfolio and its strategy to focus investment behind eight ‘power brands’ and to dispose of selected businesses further enabling it to deleverage the business. The net sale proceeds (after estimated disposal costs of £1.8 million) will be used by Premier to repay bank borrowings.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Completes Disposal of Brookes Avana

Premier Foods Sells Four Irish Brands For €41 Million


Premier Foods is selling its four Irish brands comprising Chivers, Gateaux, McDonnells and the Erin licence to The Boyne Valley Group for a gross cash consideration of €41.4 million. The disposal represents a further step in Premier’s strategy to focus investment behind its eight ‘power brands’ and follows its recent announcement to sell its chilled food division, Brookes Avana, to the 2 Sisters Food Group.

 

“The sale of these Irish brands will enable us to focus on supporting our power brands in line with our overall strategy. Coming hard on the heels of the announcement of the Brookes Avana sale agreement, this underlines our determination to streamline the business to help restore profitable growth quickly,” explains Michael Clarke, chief executive of Premier Foods.

 

For the 12 months to 31st October 2011, the Irish brands had turnover of Eur26.2 million and EBITDA of Eur9.4 million.

 

John Harkin, chief executive of  The Boyne Valley Group, comments: “We are pleased to be acquiring these strong and well established Irish Brands with a loyal customer base. With additional investment, we believe we can grow these brands further. They fit well within our existing food portfolio which includes olive oil, relishes, home-baking and honey.”

 

In addition, Premier Foods and The Boyne Valley Group have entered into manufacturing agreements within which Premier Foods will continue to manufacture the Irish brands for three years.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Sells Four Irish Brands For €41 Million

Sara Lee Close to Disposing of French Bakery Unit


Sara Lee is reported to be in negotiations to sell Eurodough, its French baked goods unit, as part of the US-based group’s strategy to divest its international bakery businesses. With current EBITDA of about Eur15 million, Eurodough was acquired by Sara Lee in 2001. The business is estimated to be worth between Eur100 million and Eur150 million with private equity firms Trilantic Capital Partners and Sagard fighting over the prize.

 

Sara Lee recently agreed to sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo for Eur115 million in cash. 

 

The divestments are in line with Sara Lee’s strategy, announced in January 2011, to divide the group into two pure play publicly-traded companies. One company will be focused around the current International Coffee and Tea business, while the other company will be focused on the North American Retail Meats and North American Foodservice businesses.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Sara Lee Close to Disposing of French Bakery Unit

Unilever Sells North American Food Brands


Unilever has agreed to sell its Culver Specialty Brands division, in the US and Canada for $325 million (Eur230 million) in cash to B&G Foods. The business being sold includes Mrs Dash salt-free branded seasoning blends, Molly McButter branded flavoured sprinkles, Sugar Twin branded sugar substitute, Bakers Joy branded baking spray and Static Guard branded anti-static spray. B&G Foods manufactures a diversified portfolio of shelf-stable foods across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close this year.

 

Culver Specialty Brands, which came to Unilever with the acquisition of The Alberto Culver Company, generated revenue of approximately $90 million for the twelve months ending September 30th, 2011. Culver Specialty Brands products are manufactured at third-party facilities so no Unilever-owned plants are affected by this transaction. The deal is in line with Unilever’s continued focus on brands with global potential in core categories.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Unilever Sells North American Food Brands

Sara Lee to Sell Fresh Bakery Business in Spain and Portugal to Grupo Bimbo


Sara Lee has agreed to sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo for €115 million ($154 million) in cash. The deal includes all Sara Lee fresh bakery brands in Spain and Portugal as well as seven manufacturing facilities. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance, is expected to close within 60 days.

 

Sara Lee holds the number-one position among branded bakery manufacturers in Spain, with leading brands such as Bimbo, Martinez, Ortiz and Silueta. In the 2011 financial year, the business generated net sales of $408 million. It employs approximately 2,000 people.

 

“Divesting the bakery businesses allows Sara Lee’s international portfolio to become simpler and more focused on coffee and tea, the categories around which we are building a leading pure-play international company,” says Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee. Sara Lee’s remaining international bakery businesses headquartered in France and Australia remain the subject of a divestiture process and a strategic review, respectively. These two businesses generated aggregate revenue of approximately $318 million in fiscal year 2011, and sell products primarily in France, Sweden, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

 

The acquisition positions Grupo Bimbo as the leading branded bread company on the Iberian Peninsula and provides the company with entry to the European market through an established bakery business. Grupo Bimbo is in the process of acquiring Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business in theUnited States. The deal was originally announced in November 2010 and is expected to close in the coming weeks.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Sara Lee to Sell Fresh Bakery Business in Spain and Portugal to Grupo Bimbo

Bakkavor Group to Sell French Business


Bakkavor Group, the UK convenience food manufacturer, is selling Bakkavor Traiteur, a non-core, fish spreads business based in France, to Alfesca, a leading European producer and supplier of convenience, fine seafood and premium products to retailers and food-service providers. The sale is for an undisclosed consideration.

 

Posted in NewsComments Off on Bakkavor Group to Sell French Business

Fray Bentos Put Up For Sale


Premier Foods, the UK’s largest domestic food processor, and Princes, the British food and drink company owned by Mitsubishi, are to dispose of the Fray Bentos brand. The move is being made in order to allay the concerns of the Office of Fair Trading regarding the agreed sale of Premier’s canned business, including the Fray Bentos and Crosse & Blackwell brands, to Princes for £182m.

After an investigation, the OFT considers that the deal would lead to competition concerns in relation to the supply of canned pies in the UK. Premier and Princes are the two major canned pie manufacturers and suppliers to retailers in the UK with significant shares of both branded and own label canned pie production. Princes supplies under its own brand name and Premier supplies under the Fray Bentos brand.

In order to remedy competition concerns, the parties have offered to divest the Fray Bentos brand covering a range of meat based canned goods (including canned pies) and some accompanying manufacturing assets. The OFT considers that the remedy offered is capable of resolving in a clear-cut manner the competition concerns identified.

However, if a suitable buyer is no found, the OFT will refer the deal to the Competition Commission. Premier has stated that it still expects to complete the sale of its canned food business to Princes by the end of July.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Fray Bentos Put Up For Sale

Tate & Lyle Completes Retreat From Sugar


Tate & Lyle is disposing of its sugar interests in Vietnam to TH Milk Food Joint Stock Company, a local Vietnamese company, for £33m. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of the current financial year.

The sale completes a two year disposal strategy that has entailed Tate & Lyle divesting its sugar factories around the world in order to focus on its Speciality Foods business, which produces the sweetener Sucralose, and its Bulk Products division, which manufactures products such as corn syrup.

The programme has involved the sale of Tate & Lyle’s European sugar business to US-based American Sugar Refining for £211m, and the £67m disposal of its Molasses operation to UK-based W& R Burnett.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Tate & Lyle Completes Retreat From Sugar

Premier Foods to Sell Canned Grocery Operation to Princes For £182m


Premier Foods has agreed to sell its East Anglian canned grocery operations to Princes for £182m. The sale is in line with Premier’s strategy of reducing debt and follows the proposed disposal of its meat-free business.

The canned operations are part of the Premier’s grocery division and have two manufacturing sites in the UK at Long Sutton, in Lincolnshire, and Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire. The business being sold employs approximately 1,600 people and manufactures a wide range of canned foods including baked beans, pasta, vegetables, soup, meat and fruit.

Included in the sale are the Crosse & Blackwell, Farrows, Fray Bentos and Smedley’s brands and certain other minor brands which are used on canned products. Premier has agreed a long-term licence with Princes to enable it to use the Branston brand on baked beans and pasta in cans and the Batchelors brand on vegetables, wet soups and pasta in cans, and a short-term licence to use Hartley’s on canned fruit. The sale excludes Premier’s Ambrosia branded canned desserts operations in Lifton, Devon, which are being retained.

Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods.

For the year ended 31st December 2010, the disposed business is expected to have revenues of £334.2m, EBITDA of £31.7m and a trading profit of £27.8m. As at 31st December 2010, the gross and net assets being sold were £167.1m. The purchase price represents a multiple of 5.75 times EBITDA.

The sale will reduce Premier’s average debt/EBITDA ratios by around 0.2x, making a further contribution toward reaching the target leverage ratio of below 3.25x.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement to sell our canned grocery operations. As a predominantly non-branded business, it has not been an area of focus for us. Selling the business simplifies our operations and allows us to concentrate our efforts on our current portfolio of great British brands,” says Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods.

Combined with the proposed disposal of its meat-free business, Premier will have delivered total gross proceeds of £387m, significantly accelerating the delivery of its financial strategy and easing its debt burden.

“This proposed acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for our group and will enable us to further grow our business in the UK and continental Europe by offering our customers a broader range of ambient food products and brands,” remarks Ken Critchley, managing director of Princes. The transaction is expected to complete in late March 2011.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods to Sell Canned Grocery Operation to Princes For £182m

Premier Foods Disposes of Meat-free Business for £205 Million


Premier Foods is selling its meat-free business, which manufactures and sells products under the Quorn and Cauldron brands, to Exponent Private Equity and Intermediate Capital Group for £205m. The business being sold is expected to report sales of £128.8m and EBITDA of £19.3m in the year to 31st December 2010. The price represents a multiple of 10.6 times EBITDA.

The sale is in line with Premier’s financial strategy to reduce debt. The deal will reduce Premier’s average debt/EBITDA ratios by around 0.35x, making a significant contribution toward reaching its target leverage ratio.

“We are pleased to have concluded this sale agreement. It makes a significant contribution to reducing our debt. Having also recently completed the restructuring of our swaps portfolio, this deal represents another step along the road to achieving a capital structure which we believe will be more attractive to investors,” says Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods. “It will also enable the business to focus further on building our current portfolio of great British brands.”

Premier Foods acquired its meat-free business in 2005 through the acquisitions of Marlow Foods (including Quorn) and Cauldron Foods.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Disposes of Meat-free Business for £205 Million

Carlsberg Sells German Brewery


The Carlsberg Group has sold its Feldschlosschen brewery in Dresden, Germany, to Frankfurter Brauhaus. The disposal is part of Carlsberg Deutschland’s strategy of focusing on five core brands in Northern Germany – Carlsberg, Holsten, Lubzer, Duckstein and Astra.

Frankfurter Brauhaus has taken over the responsibility for the 172 employees at the Feldschlosschen brewery and within logistics and sales support. As part of the transaction, Carlsberg Deutschland has signed co-operation agreements with Frankfurter Brauhaus regarding ongoing logistics and sales support in the Dresden area. The Dresden brewery has a total annual capacity of 1.9m hectolitres.

The disposal results in a total non-cash loss of approximately DKr130m which will be included in Carlsberg’s special items for 2010. The loss is not included in the 2010 earnings expectations of net profit growth at around 40%. The Carlsberg Group has received the cash proceeds from the disposal in 2011.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Carlsberg Sells German Brewery

Nestle Streamlines Russian Confectionery Business


Nestle is reported to have sold its Altai Confectionery business in Russia to local private company Corminus Enterprises for an undisclosed sum. The Altai plant produced about 17,000 tonnes of confectionery products, including brands Altai and Savinov, in 2009.

The disposal will allow Nestle in Russia to focus resources on its well established core confectionery brands such as Kit Kat, Rossiya-Schedraya Dusha and Nestle.

Over the past 15 years, Nestle has built up a strong presence in Russia and currently operates 13 production facilities, ten sales offices and employs around 10,000 people. With double-digit growth rates and sales of around SFr2b in 2009 in Russia, Nestle is market leader in coffee, chocolate, infant cereals and culinary products.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Nestle Streamlines Russian Confectionery Business

Premier Foods Moves Closer to Meat-free Disposal


Premier Foods has confirmed that it has received bids for its meat-free business, incorporating the Quorn brand, from a number of parties, including multinational food groups and private equity firms. Discussions are proceeding and are at an advanced stage with two potential buyers.

Nestle is reported to be one of the food group’s interested in Premier Foods’ meat-free business, which analysts estimate to be worth between £200m and £250m. Premier Foods, the UK’s largest domestic food processor, has also put its canning business up for sale as it seeks to reduce its debt burden.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Moves Closer to Meat-free Disposal

Belvedere Disposes of US Spirits Production Business


Belvedere, the French spirits group, has sold its US production business, Florida Distillers, for $48m. However, Belvedere will retain is US distribution business, which includes the 4 Orange and Sobieski vodka brands. Belvedere acquired Florida Distillers for $56m in 2007.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Belvedere Disposes of US Spirits Production Business

Danone Completes Russian Dairy Deal


Danone has finalised the sale of its 18.4% stake in Wimm Bill Dann Foods, the Russian dairy and food group for $470m. Danone has held the stake since Wimm Bill Dann Foods’ IPO in 2002.

The closing of the transaction was subject to the grant of the required regulatory approvals for the merger of Danone’s fresh dairy products operations in Russia with those of Unimilk, Russia’s second largest manufacturer of dairy products and baby food. Established in 2002, Unimilk operates 28 production plants in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and has 14,000 employees. Unimilk’s sales in 2009 amounted to Eur1b (up 7% on 2008).

Wimm-Bill-Dann will fund the purchase of its shares from Danone from existing resources and will not require additional financing. Founded in 1992, Moscow-based Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has grown rapidly to become the largest producer of dairy, baby food and beverage products in its native Russia and the CIS. The group employs over 16,000 people across 37 manufacturing facilities in Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In 2005, Wimm-Bill-Dann became the first Russian dairy producer to receive approval from the European Commission to export its products into the European Union.

Since 2002, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has been expanding its geographical footprint by acquiring successful businesses in Russia and the CIS, and investing heavily in modernising its production facilities. Its strategy is to produce its core products in the regions where they are sold.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Danone Completes Russian Dairy Deal

Premier Foods Receives Approaches for Meat Free Business


Premier Foods, the UK’s largest domestic food processor, has received approaches that may or may not lead to a sale of its meat free business, including the Quorn brand. The disposal of the business, which analysts estimate to be worth between £200m and £250m, would help Premier reduce its debt burden following a series of acquisitions culminating in its £1.2b purchase of RHM in 2007.

Premier Foods remains open minded about disposals, provided they deliver shareholder value and accelerate the reduction of average net debt/EBITDA. Potential bidders for the meat free business include Nestle, Unilever, Danone and Campbell Soup Company.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Premier Foods Receives Approaches for Meat Free Business

Coca-Cola Enterprises Sees Solid Growth Opportunities in Western Europe


Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products which will soon be focused purely on some of the largest but also most mature soft drinks markets in Western Europe, is optimistic about the long-term growth prospects for this territory. The group aims to achieve in currency neutral terms: revenue growth of 4% to 6%; operating income growth of 6% to 8%; earnings per share growth in a high single-digit range; and return on invested capital improvement of 20 basis points or more per year.

“These metrics reflect the solid growth opportunity that lies ahead in Europe,” says John Brock, chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola Enterprises. “They exceed our current long-term objectives. We are committed to these financial objectives, and in turn, to creating real value for our shareowners, our customers, and our employees.”

CCE currently sells approximately 80% of The Coca-Cola Company’s bottle and can volume in North America. However, once it has completed the sale of this business to Coca-Cola, CCE will be left as the sole licensed Coca-Cola bottler in Great Britain, Belgium, continental France, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands. The disposal of the North American operations is on track for completion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

For its 2010 financial year, CCE expects, on a comparable and currency neutral basis, Europe to achieve high single-digit to low double-digit operating income growth, while operating income in North America is expected to grow at a mid to high single-digit rate. Also, on a comparable and currency neutral basis, the company now expects Europe to achieve mid single-digit revenue growth, while in North America revenue is expected to be approximately flat.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Coca-Cola Enterprises Sees Solid Growth Opportunities in Western Europe

Greencore Completes Disposal of Dutch Convenience Food Business


Leading UK and Irish convenience food manufacturer Greencore Group has completed the sale of its Netherlands-based convenience foods business, Greencore Continental, to Convenience Foods Europe, a subsidiary of Parcom Buy Out Fund IV.

Greencore Continental supplies sandwiches, chilled pizzas and chilled sauces to customers based in Continental Europe. It operates from two facilities located at Liessel and Alphen in The Netherlands. The turnover of Greencore Continental was Eur58.2m for the year ended 25th September 2009 and the net assets of the business were Eur12.7m at that year end date.

Partrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore.

The proceeds from the deal will be used to reduce Greencore’s net debt. According to Partrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore, the disposal is in line with the group’s strategy of developing an industry leading position in convenience foods in the UK supplemented by a growing convenience foods business in the US.

Greencore enjoys strong market leadership positions in the UK convenience food market across sandwiches, chilled prepared meals, chilled soups and sauces, ambient sauces and pickles, cakes and desserts and Yorkshire puddings.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Greencore Completes Disposal of Dutch Convenience Food Business

Nestle Completes Disposal of Alcon


Nestle has completed the sale of its remaining 52% stake in Alcon, the global eye care business, to Novartis for $28.3b.

Nestle acquired Alcon in 1977 for $280m. Over the years, Nestle supported Alcon’s R&D drive and international expansion, enabling the company to build a significant global leadership position in ophthalmology.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle.

Taking into account the three steps of the gradual divestment of Alcon – the initial IPO of 23.25% in 2002, the sale of 24.8% in 2008 and the sale of Nestle’s remaining Alcon shares to Novartis – Nestle has realised $41b.

As an immediate result, Nestle will substantially reduce its net debt position, which stood at SFr29.6b ($28.7b, Eur22.6b) at the end of June 2010. Nestle will continue to seek opportunities to accelerate its development in core areas and, through responsible capital management, maintain its AA rating – the gold standard credit quality in the industry – while providing a competitive return to its shareholders.

“This divestment of our interest in Alcon will enable our management to concentrate on accelerating Nestle’s transformation as the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company,” remarks Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Nestle Completes Disposal of Alcon

Barilla Disposes of German Bakery Business


Italian pasta and bakery group Barilla is selling Kamps, its German bakery chain, to ECM Equity Capital, a Frankfurt-based private equity firm, for an undisclosed price. Kamps has 900 franchise shops in Germany selling bread and baked goods, supported by five bakery plants, and had sales of over Eur300m last year.

Kamps along with a business supplying bread to supermarkets and other retailers and a French bakery chain were acquired by Barilla for Eur1.8b in 2002. Subsequently renamed Lieken, the group had sales of about Eur1b last year. Barilla is retaining most of the Lieken business.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Barilla Disposes of German Bakery Business

Danone to Dispose of Stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods


Danone has agreed to sell its 18.4% stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods to the Russian food group for a total consideration of $470m. The agreement follows the recent announcement of the joint-venture between Danone and Unimilk in the CIS region. The deal is conditional upon Danone receiving the necessary regulatory approvals for the merger of its fresh dairy products operations in the CIS region with Unimilk.

Wimm-Bill-Dann will fund the transaction from existing resources and will not require additional financing. “This agreement represents the amicable conclusion of Danone’s investment in our company, an investment Danone has held since our IPO in February 2002. This announcement and the outright purchase of our own shares reflect our confidence in the fundamentals of the business and our strategy for the future,” says Tony Maher, chief executive of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods.

Tony Maher, chief executive of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods.

Founded in 1992, Moscow-based Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has grown rapidly to become the largest producer of dairy, baby food and beverage products in its native Russia and the CIS. The group employs over 16,000 people across 37 manufacturing facilities in Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In 2005, Wimm-Bill-Dann became the first Russian dairy producer to receive approval from the European Commission to export its products into the European Union.

Since 2002, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has been expanding its geographical footprint by acquiring successful businesses in Russia and the CIS, and investing heavily in modernising its production facilities. Its strategy is to produce its core products in the regions where they are sold.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Danone to Dispose of Stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods

Danone to Sell Stake in Chinese Juice Business For €200m


Danone has agreed to sell its 22.98% shareholding in China Huiyuan Juice Group, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, for about Eur200m to SAIF Partners, a Hong-Kong-based private equity firm. Huiyuan holds a leading position in the fruit juice market in China.

The disposal is in line with Danone’s strategy to focus the activities of its Waters division on natural mineral and spring water based beverages.

Since Danone’s entrance in the Chinese market in the late 1980s, the company has built up successful positions in its four core categories – fresh dairy products, waters, baby nutrition and medical nutrition, which together operate 20 factories and employ 9,000 people in China. With a strong commitment to accelerate its development in the Chinese market, Danone will continue to focus on the growth opportunities of its four core categories in China.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Danone to Sell Stake in Chinese Juice Business For €200m

Greencore to Dispose of Dutch Convenience Food Business


Greencore Group is selling its Netherlands-based convenience foods business, Greencore Continental, to Convenience Foods Europe, a subsidiary of Parcom Buy Out Fund IV.

Greencore Continental supplies sandwiches, chilled pizzas and chilled sauces to customers based in Continental Europe. It operates from two facilities located at Liessel and Alphen in The Netherlands. The turnover of Greencore Continental was Eur58.2m for the year ended 25th September 2009 and the net assets of the business were Eur12.7m at that year end date.

Partrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore.

The Disposal requires prior consultation with the relevant Works Councils as well as regulatory approval from the Netherlands Competition Authority. Completion of the deal is expected to occur on or before 30th August 2010. The proceeds will be used to reduce Greencore’s net debt. 

According to Partrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore, the disposal is in line with the group’s strategy of developing an industry leading position in convenience foods in the UK supplemented by a growing convenience foods business in the US. Greencore is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of convenience foods.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Greencore to Dispose of Dutch Convenience Food Business

Kraft Foods to Sell Cadbury’s Romanian Business


Kraft Foods is selling its Cadbury’s Kandia-Excelent chocolate, soft cake and sugar confectionery business in Romania to Oryxa Capital, an international investment fund, for an undisclosed sum. The sale includes Kandia-Excelent brands (Rom, Magura, Kandia, Laura, Sugus and Silvana and others), related trademarks and the manufacturing facility in Bucharest.

Kandia-Excelent employs approximately 530 people. Kraft Foods will retain the Cadbury international brands, including Halls candy.

The disposal is in compliance with conditions set by the European Commission in approving Kraft Foods’ acquisition of Cadbury. Kraft Foods has already agreed the sale of Cadbury’s E Wedel business in Poland to Tokyo-based Lotte Group.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Kraft Foods to Sell Cadbury’s Romanian Business

Sara Lee Refocusing Continues With €320m Disposal


US-based food, household and body care products group Sara Lee has completed the sale of its air care operation to Procter & Gamble for Eur320m. The disposal is part of the divesture of Sara Lee’s household and body care business as it seeks to refocus on its global food and beverage activities.

Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive of Sara Lee.

To date, Sara Lee has completed the sale of its 51% stake in its Godrej Sara Lee joint venture to Godrej Consumer Products for a total consideration of Eur185m. In addition, Sara Lee expects to close the sales of its global body care and European detergents businesses to Unilever and its remaining insecticides business to SC Johnson by the end of 2010.

This will leave Sara Lee focused on five businesses – North American Fresh Bakery, North American Retail, North American Foodservice, International Beverage and International Bakery.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Sara Lee Refocusing Continues With €320m Disposal

Pernod Ricard Disposes of Spanish Wine Interest


Global spirits and wine group Pernod Ricard has agreed to sell its shares in Spanish drinks company Ambrosio Velasco to Diego Zamora for a cash consideration of Eur33.1m. The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance by the Spanish competition authorities.

Diego Zamora is a family owned Spanish company, best known as the producer of Licor 43, the most popular Spanish liqueur worldwide, and other premium brands such as Villa Massa (best selling premium Italian Limoncello), Matusalem Rum and Ramon Bilbao Wines from Rioja. Diego Zamora is also a leading importer and distributor within the Spanish wines and spirits market.

Posted in NewsComments Off on Pernod Ricard Disposes of Spanish Wine Interest

Tate & Lyle Disposes of EU Sugar Operations For £211m


Tate & Lyle is selling its EU sugar refining operations to American Sugar Refining, the largest cane sugar refiner in North America, for £211m in cash. The deal reflects the change in development strategy adopted by Javed Ahmed, the new chief executive of Tate & Lyle.

EU S consists of the cane sugar refineries in London, UK, and Lisbon, Portugal, the Lyle’s Golden Syrup factory in London, the associated sugar and syrup brands and the Tate & Lyle Process Technology consulting business. In the year ended 31st March 2010, these businesses had external sales of £689m and made an adjusted operating profit of £14m (after transitional aid of £17m), and had gross assets of £374m at 31st March 2010. The sale excludes historic UK pension assets and liabilities and is expected to give rise to a book loss on disposal, before costs, of approximately £55m, subject to exchange rate movements and the timing of completion.

In May, Tate & Lyle announced its clear intentions to ‘focus, fix and grow’ its business. The sale of the EU sugar operations is intended to achieve in a more focused, less volatile business, and a solid platform to deliver sustainable long-term growth in Tate & Lyle’s speciality food ingredients business, supported by cash generated from its bulk ingredients activities.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Tate & Lyle’s adjusted earnings per share on total operations in the 2011 financial year. The completion of the transaction, which is conditional upon anti-trust clearance in Portugal, is expected to occur in approximately two months.

Tate & Lyle has provided American Sugar Refining with a perpetual worldwide licence to use the Tate & Lyle brand in connection with the retail sale of sugar and in other limited circumstances.

Tate & Lyle is also looking to sell the remaining businesses within its sugars division, principally Molasses and Vietnamese sugar.

Javed Ahmed, chief executive of Tate & Lyle.

“Sugar refining has enjoyed a long and proud history within Tate & Lyle, but we believe the interests of this business and its employees are now best served by being part of a company for whom sugar refining is core,” says Javed Ahmed, chief executive of Tate & Lyle. “Tate & Lyle’s clear priority is to grow its speciality food ingredients business, supported by cash generated from bulk ingredients. This disposal will enable us to concentrate our resources on delivering our strategic objectives as we focus, fix and grow our business.”

The acquisition marks the third large-scale transaction between the two companies. ASR purchased Tate & Lyle North American Sugars (Domino Sugar) and its three refineries in 2001. More recently, ASR acquired Tate & Lyle Canada. (Redpath Sugar) in 2007, which included Canada’s largest refinery. ASR’s expertise lies in the operation of cane sugar refineries and the logistics of the related supply chain as well as the marketing of recognised retail sugar brands.

“Sugar is a global business,” points out Antonio Contreras, Jr, co-president of ASR. “This acquisition makes perfect sense for ASR. We’re sugar people who are committed to and understand the sugar business. The European acquisition in many ways mirrors our North American operations and will complement our company.”

Posted in NewsComments Off on Tate & Lyle Disposes of EU Sugar Operations For £211m




Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2015

Food & Drink Event Videos

Upcoming Events

  • February 25, 2017Golositalia & Aliment & Equipment
  • February 26, 2017Gulfood
  • March 3, 2017DETROP 2017
  • March 6, 2017Sibab Portugual 2017
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

Jobs: New Product Development

Jobs: Finance

Jobs: Project Management

Jobs: Logistics

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

Advertisements