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Orkla expands in Greece, Sweden and Portugal with acquisitions

April 1, 2019
Consumer Packaged Goods

Norway’s Orkla has announced a trio of acquisitions as it looks to expand its portfolio of brands across Europe.

The company is buying a majority stake in Greek ingredients firm Stelios Kanakis Industrial and Commercial (Kanakis), alongside the purchase of Sweden’s Lecora and a minority investment in the owner of Portugal-based Captain Kombucha.

Founded in 1985, Kanakis produces confectionery, bakery and ice cream ingredients. Last year, the firm had a turnover of €20.2 million. Orkla has entered into an agreement to buy the company through its Orkla Food Ingredients subsidiary.

“Kanakis has a leading position in our core categories, in addition to a broad-based network of customers and suppliers who are well-known to Orkla Food Ingredients,” said Johan Clarin, Orkla Food Ingredients CEO. “The company is well-positioned in a region that is seeing good growth.”

Meanwhile, through its Orkla Foods Sverige subsidiary, Orkla has signed and completed an agreement to purchase Lecora, a Swedish manufacturer of frozen and chilled foods and ready meals.

Headquartered in Vadstena, the company had a turnover of SEK 95.9 million ($10.3 million) in 2018, which was primarily generated in Sweden.

Orkla Food Sverige CEO Henrik Julin said: “Orkla holds a leading position in the Swedish grocery trade, in numerous food categories. With the purchase of Lecora, we are strengthening our out-of-home business and expanding our portfolio of organic, vegan and vegetarian food products.”

Finally, Orkla has signed and completed an agreement to purchase 43.5% of the shares of Portuguese company Asteriscos e Reticências, producer of fermented tea-based health drinks that are sold under the Captain Kombucha brand.

Captain Kombucha was established in 2016 and is headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal. The business is currently owned by the two founders (85%) and the German venture capital firm Doehler Ventures (15%), which is financed by the ingredients manufacturer Doehler. After completion of the transaction, the founders will retain an interest of 48.5%, and Doehler will reduce its ownership share to 7.9%.

Orkla Foods International CEO Johan Wilhelmsson said: “In investing in the Captain Kombucha brand we are putting our money on a new and increasingly popular product. The probiotics and organic acids it contains have a positive effect on gut health, which is one of Orkla’s priority areas.”

Last month, Orkla announced that its CEO, Peter Ruzicka, will step down from his role this May after more than five years in charge. The company’s operating revenue in 2018 grew by 3% to NOK 40.84 billion ($4.8 billion).

By Jules Scully

Source: FoodBev

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