- Bel and Lactalis begin exclusive negotiations having signed an Unilateral Promise to Purchase a business, on March 18, 2021, including Royal Bel Leerdammer NL, Bel Italia, Bel Deutschland, Leerdammer and all related rights, and Bel Shostka Ukraine, in return for Lactalis’s 1,591,472 Bel shareholding (23.16% Bel equity stake).
- Dairy products world no. 1 Lactalis acquires iconic European cheese brand Leerdammer, which has best-in-class strengths including a great reputation, a broad product range and world-class production facilities. Leerdammer fits perfectly into Lactalis’s strategic priorities founded on top class product development and local food.
- Bel, a market leading cheese brand owner and major player in healthy snacking, ramps up rollout of its strategic roadmap with a view to boosting growth of its three complementary market segments – dairy, fruits and plant-based. Via this deal, Bel reaffirms its independent family business model that has underpinned its corporate culture and success ever since it was founded nearly 150 years ago.
Bel Group and Lactalis Group today announced they have begun exclusive negotiations having signed a unilateral promise to purchase a business, including Royal Bel Leerdammer NL, Bel Italia, Bel Deutschland, the Leerdammer brand and all related rights plus Bel Shostka Ukraine, from Lactalis. Sicopa, a wholly-owned Bel subsidiary, will transfer said assets to Lactalis in return for 1,591,472 Bel shares (23.16% equity stake) held by Lactalis. Following the transaction, Lactalis will hold a 0.90% stake in Bel. As of December 31, 2020, Leerdammer and Bel Shostka Ukraine revenues were approximately €500 million, of which €350 million Leerdammer revenues, while operating earnings were approximately €25 million.
Bel Group Chairman and CEO Antoine Fievet said: « In line with our strategic priorities, we continue to grow our business and take on three further market segments, namely dairy, fruit and plant-based, and so reinforce our healthy snacking major player position. With this asset sale deal we reaffirm our independent family business model that gives us freedom to take a long-term view. For Leerdammer, this deal means a unique chance to have the backing of Lactalis, dairy products world no. 1, which will have the wherewithal to support it for its upcoming challenges. We’re proud to have supported it with tremendous success over close on 20 years. I’d like today to thank all Leerdammer and Bel Shostka Ukraine people for their outstanding work and commitment. »
Lactalis Group Chairman Emmanuel Besnier said: “We welcome Leerdammer and we’re excited by the prospect of building on the growth of this iconic brand that people adore. This deal gives us an opening into the Dutch cheese market and production in Holland via three manufacturing plants. The transfer to us of Bel’s Italian, German and Ukrainian sales subsidiaries will boost our facilities in these countries benefiting both Leerdammer and other Bel product sales on these markets. »