- Bel Group and Polmlek announce today that they have signed an agreement to sell Bel’s stake in Safilait, part of Bel’s activities in Morocco.
- This represents an opportunity for Safilait to tie its future to Polmlek, the major Polish dairy player, who aims to invest in the development and growth of their core business as part of their strategy to expand internationally.
- For Bel in Morocco (Fromageries Bel Maroc), this is in line with their strategy to focus on their historical cheese brands’ growth and local market share development, in this major market for the Group.
Bel Group and Polmlek announce today they have signed an agreement to sell Bel’s stake in Safilait, and the Tarmast farm which supplies Safilait.
Bel is a leader in the Moroccan market where the Group has been present for five decades and where it has strong brands and positions (including The Laughing Cow®, les Enfants®, and Kiri®). It is a key market for Bel, in which the group has increased its investments, including in its state-of-the-art Tangier factory, and where it will continue to invest.
In 2015, the group had expanded its offer in Morocco by acquiring Safilait, a dairy company specializing in the processing, packaging and sale of fresh milk, UHT milk and fresh dairy products. Since then, Bel Group has supported Safilait to develop its products and activities – including well-known local brands such as Jibal® and has invested in the company’s Moroccan production facility throughout its period of ownership. Safilait now constitutes the third-largest local dairy player. Given its international ambition and strong expertise in the fresh dairy segment, Polmlek will be mobilized to pursue Safilait’s development and growth achieved under Bel’s ownership.
Bel is committed to a smooth transition and will ensure a harmonious takeover by Polmlek for all stakeholders involved, including through maintaining commercial synergies and cross-functional projects. Maintaining Safilait’s well-known brands such as Jibal® and local proximity, are an essential part of this deal.
The transaction will be effective after the approval of regulatory and competition authorities. It is expected to close in H2 2022.
Bel Morocco’s Chakib Seddiki said: “This project is in line with our strategy: to consolidate our historical activities in this major local market by increasing our focus on our core cheese brands, whilst providing Safilait with the chance to write a new chapter in their history alongside a player, Polmlek, that is a milk and dairy specialist, and which has strong ambitions in Morocco.”
Bel Group CEO Cécile Béliot said: “We are committed to Morocco since the 1970s and will continue to invest, to consolidate the position of our historical brands in the country. Since 2015, Safilait, thanks to the strong expertise and mobilization of the teams, has consolidated its position as a major dairy player in Morocco, that Polmlek aims to strengthen.”
Polmlek CEO said: “The transaction will enable Polmlek International to implement a long-term plan of foreign expansion by establishing a footprint in the Moroccan market, with a well-established household brand, a solid asset-base, and an experienced management team.”