Food makes for some very sweet "mouths".

Integral service around a transaction
BY : Diego GutiérrezOctober Mon, 2013

In the food sector, corporate groups have taken advantage of the opportunity to make some very sweet moves in recent years. Growth has come from joining forces in the niches where they were already present, acquiring more of the pie and sorting out markets.

Nutrexpa acquires Artiach from Panrico

Nutrexpa family group dedicated to the food sector had announced a strategy to grow in the breakfast business, where it already had the brand name Cola Cao manufactured Nocilla. In 2008, it decided to enter the biscuit segment with the acquisition of Cuétara for €215M. In 2012, it took a further step with the purchase of Artiach to the group Panrico, this time for a more affordable price of approximately €80M. In 2011, Nutrexpa had a turnover of €475M and Artiach a figure close to €67M.

"With these two acquisitionsNutrexpa has managed to position itself as a leader in the biscuit niche in Spain. It has chosen two companies with very well positioned brands and with a relevant % of the market. In this way, it has played it safe. Other groups have opted to refloat companies in crisis, which can lead to better entry prices but more risk in subsequent management", analyses Diego Gutierrez, corporate finance expert at Abra Invest.

Cocoa and nuts the preferred ingredients for foreign investors

The segment of chocolates and accessory products has received the most interest from foreign multinationals. The Swiss multinational cocoa and high-end chocolate company Barry Callebaut bought in 2012 the 100% from the Catalan company La Morella Nuts, specialising in nut products for confectionery. Morella Nuts, with headquarters in Reus and factories in Reus and Castellvell del Camp, manufactures around 8,000 tonnes of walnut-based specialities per year; in 2011 it had a turnover of 33 million euros and employs 90 people, while exporting throughout Europe, Russia and part of Asia.

Another important operation was that of the world leader in the processing and supply of food products, Olam International, with the purchase of the 75% from Valencia-based Macao Commodities trading (MCT). for approximately €15M. Founded in 1994 in Valencia, Spain, MCT is a leading supplier of cocoa powder, cocoa beans, desiccated coconut, dried fruits, vegetable fats and dairy products to chocolate, beverages and industrial biscuits in the Iberian region.

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