Bell Food Group has announced that it is acquiring a majority stake in convenience foods company Hügli, and launching a public tender offer for the remaining shares.
The Swiss food group, which is one of the leading meat processors and makers of convenience products in Europe, says that this acquisition will ‘significantly expand’ its position in the European convenience food market.
The company plans to raise around CHF 600 million to finance the acquisition and further growth investments in this sector.
Hügli Group, which produces soups, sauces and meat alternatives, generated revenues of CHF 385 million in 2016, and operates ten production plants in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
Bell says that the product portfolios of the two companies are ‘highly complementary’, with nearly no overlaps, therefore it is not expecting any objections from European competition authorities.
“As well as strengthening our traditional areas of business, the acquisition of Hügli marks an important milestone in our growth strategy in the convenience sector,” said Hansueli Loosli, chairman of Bell Food Group.
“We believe this combination has great potential to benefit our customers, employees and shareholders.”
Bell Food Group says that it is continuing to pursue its strategy of growth in the convenience sector, as it offers ‘attractive growth and margins’. This includes its recent acquisition of Liechtenstein-based Hilcona.
Elsewhere, the company’s board of directors has nominated Phillip Wyss as a new member of the board, to replace Jörg Ackermann, who is stepping down from his position. Wyss is currently vice president of retail group Coop.
Source: European Supermarket Magazine
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