Posted on 11 April 2011.
The Ardo and Bonduelle groups are to set up a joint venture to supply frozen vegetables to the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Ardo and Bonduelle have also signed an exclusive supply agreement with Findus, which is returning to the Spanish and Portuguese frozen foods markets.
The agreement between Bonduelle and Ardo provides for a joint venture to be set up in Spain involving the Benimodo production sites of Bonduelle and Ardo’s packing and storage site at Marcilla. The new entity to be formed will be owned equally by the two groups, and will have a turnover of approximately Eur100m, for volumes of 90,000 tonnes, 30,000 tonnes of which will be produced at Benimodo.
At the same time, Bonduelle will transfer its Frudesa and Salto brands to Findus and Findus will take back the direct responsibility for sales and marketing of its Findus brand in Spain and Portugal, which it had granted under licence to the Ardo group in 2005. This signals the return of Findus in Spain and Portugal with a strong ambition to develop and invest in terms of advertising and innovation behind the Findus, Frudesa and Salto brands.
The objective is to drive category growth in the frozen vegetables market with both the Findus and Frudesa brands as well as relaunching strongly in the ready meals segment with the Salto brand. Findus intends to build on its successes in frozen foods across Europe and aims to become the true frozen category leader in Spain.
The joint venture between Ardo and Bonduelle will supply the Findus, Frudesa and Salto brands under an exclusive agreement to Findus, but will also supply the private label businesses of both Ardo and Gelagri in Spain and Portugal, along with the Bonduelle Food Service brand in the Spanish and Portuguese markets, and Bonduelle branded business in Portugal.
Through this alliance and the synergies released, Bonduelle and Ardo intend to set up a competitive frozen vegetable production structure for the Iberian Peninsula market.
Based at Ardooie in Belgium, Ardo has a turnover of Eur600m, annual production of 600,000 tonnes and is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of frozen vegetables. Bonduelle group is a world leader in prepared vegetables with turnover of Eur1.7b, with 27% of its business coming from frozen vegetables, for which it is the leader in Canada and the number two in Europe. Its head office is at Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille in France.
Findus Group is a leading frozen food business in Europe with sales over Eur1.3b and holds market leading positions in frozen foods in France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland and a market leading position in frozen and chilled seafood in the UK. Findus Group operates across many categories from seafood, vegetables, potatoes to ready meals.
The proposed ventures are subject to clearance by the Spanish competition authorities.