Findus has added to European business with Lutosa deal

Findus has added to European business with Lutosa deal

Frozen food giant Findus Group has snapped up the Belgian retail business of Lutosa as part of the EU's clearance of McCain Foods' acquisition of the potato products supplier.

Lutosa, which produces French fries and speciality potato products, accounts for some 15% of the Belgian retail frozen potato market, Findus said.

Findus described the deal as a "small but important acquisition", which offered "synergies" with its operations in France.

It said: "Findus Group's approach to Belgium, with the acquisition of a local brand's license with the strategy of eventually rebranding to Findus, mirrors the group's 2011 expansion into Spain via the acquisition of the Frudesa and Findus brands there," it said.

James Hill, Findus's CEO, added: "We are determined to grow our business and this acquisition gives us two new ways to do so: we can bring our broader expertise into the Belgian market and we can leverage the famed qualities of Belgian potatoes and frites elsewhere."

In October 2012, McCain struck a deal to buy Lutosa from rival PinguinLutosa. However, the European Commission said McCain had to sell the Lutosa retail brand in Europe due to an "overlap" between the two businesses, particularly in frozen french fries.

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Findus Group, one of Europe’s leading frozen food producers, announces today (Thursday 27thFebruary 2014) the expansion of its operations into Belgium, via the acquisition of the Lutosa branded retail business.

The Lutosa brand, thanks to its expertise and reputation for high quality French fries and specialty potato products, accounts for some 15% of the Belgian retail frozen potato market.

Lutosa, which produces potato wedges, croquettes and rösti as well as French fries, is a small but important acquisition for Findus Group. As well as providing a significant platform and presence in Belgium, Lutosa offers synergies with Findus Group’s operations in the adjacent market of France. Findus Group’s approach to Belgium, with the acquisition of a local brand’s license with the strategy of eventually rebranding to Findus, mirrors the Group’s 2011 expansion into Spain via the acquisition of the Frudesa and Findus brands there.

Findus Group CEO, James Hill, commented: “We are determined to grow our business and this acquisition gives us two new ways to do so: we can bring our broader expertise into the Belgian market and we can leverage the famed qualities of Belgian potatoes and frites elsewhere.”

Lutosa retail, previously part of the much larger PinguinLutosa group, had been put up for sale as a condition of European competition authorities’ clearance for that group’s acquisition by McCain.

Original source: Findus Group