The Bel Group has “agreed to undertake exclusive negotiations” with LBO France to acquire a majority interest in compotes and desserts manufacturer MOM Group.
The deal would enable Bel to turn MOM into a major global player in the healthy snacks segment, founded on strong brands and highly complementary product ranges and territories, and using MOM’s industrial knowhow and capacity for innovation to gain international leadership positions throughout its brand portfolio.
The MOM Group, majority owned by LBO France since 2010, has grown its business in France and the US, Bel Group said. While building on its historical Materne and Mont Blanc brands sold in France, the MOM Group created the fruit squeezers category and developed strong leadership positions with its Pom’Potes and GoGosqueeZ brands in both France and the US.
Over the past five years, MOM has doubled in size, achieving sales of €362 million in 2015. The company employs 1,300 people and owns four production sites, including two in France and two in the United States.
Antoine Fiévet, Fromageries Bel chairman and CEO, said: “This deal alongside MOM Group’s management represents an historic opportunity for Bel to accelerate the building of a major player in single-serving healthy snack portions, in step with the group’s strategic ambitions. The perfectly complementary nature of the product ranges is ideal for meeting growing consumer expectations and the nutritional challenges facing many, many countries. Focusing the teams on a limited number of brands with strong international potential, and combining the industrial expertise and innovative capabilities of Bel and MOM creates an extraordinary foundation for growth.”
MOM Group CEO Michel Larroche said: “For MOM, a partnership with Bel offers a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of our healthy, fruit and dairy snack brands, by leaning on the Bel Group’s extraordinary international reach. Our partnership with Bel will help create a French-headquartered, healthy snack food company that will be uniquely positioned and supported by international brands. I thank and applaud LBO France, as well as the MOM Group employees, who have greatly contributed to double our company’s size over the past five years and helped build strong brands, notably in France and the United States. I am pleased to have the opportunity to further accelerate our growth in partnership with Bel’s teams.”
The deal will be submitted for consultation and approval, with a view to completing the transaction by the end of 2016.
Robert Daussun, CEO of LBO France, concluded: “It’s a financial, strategic and economic slam-dunk. The French leader five years ago has become an international player and can now legitimately aim to become a global leader. We gave MOM the means to develop in the United States, and the choice that we have made today to couple it with a global player in the cheese industry is a decisive strategic step. MOM will have the human resources and the local avenues needed to accelerate its growth, with the new group becoming the flagship French company in the global snack food sector.”
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