Norwegian firm Orkla has signed a purchase contract for food maker Hamé for €175 million (Kč 4.7 billion) and the transaction will be evaluated by Czech antitrust office ÚOHS, Orkla already owns food maker Vitana, Vitana spokesman Milan Linka and Petr Kopáček of Hamé told the Czech News Agency today.
The seller is capital holding Decapterus S.a.r.l. based in the Netherlands. The purchasing price will be paid from existing loans.
ÚOHS has not yet received the proposal for the acquisition’s approval, Milena Marešová of its press department told ČTK.
“I see this change very positively. Group Hamé is doing extraordinarily well. Now the company needs a strong experienced owner which will give it a new impulse, will fully use its potential and support its further development and growth,” said Hamé CEO Martin Strupl.
Apart from Vitana, Orkla owns Austrian company Felix and Romanian firm Orkla Foods Romania in Central Europe.
A stronger position in Central Europe will provide space for Orkla’s further growth on these markets, Atle Vidar Nagel-Johansen, Orkla’s executive vice president, commented on the transaction.
Thanks to the takeover, Orkla will double its turnover in Central Europe, Linka said. Hamé had Kč 4.9 billion sales last year and its net profit reached Kč 234 million. Nearly 70 percent of the sales came from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Hamé exports goods to some 40 countries on five continents.
Including imported products, Hamé’s sales increased by 8 percent to Kč 5.548 billion last year. In the first half of this year, sales increased by 14 percent year on year to Kč 2.9 billion.
Strupl earlier said that the company expected sales worth over Kč 6 billion this year when it plans to invest Kč 170 million into development.
The media in the past speculated also about other investors interested in Hamé. Fund Hartenberg, which manages private resources worth billions of crowns of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, was reportedly interested in acquiring Hamé, as was Croatian food group Podravka.
In the CzechRepublic and Slovakia, Hamé has a leading position on the market in patés, ready dishes, canned vegetables, jams and baby food.
Hamé has roughly 2,400 employees and ten production plants, seven in the CzechRepublic, one in Slovakia, one in Romania and one in Russia. It has a strong market position in pates also in Hungary, Romania and Russia.
Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and solutions in the area of food, toiletries and baked goods in Scandinavia, the Baltic states, some markets in Central Europe and India.
Orkla’s shares are trade on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Group Orkla had around 13,000 employees last year and its annual turnover was NOK30 billion (Kč 85.5 billion).
Source: Prague Post
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