UPDATE: FrieslandCampina regrets end to Imlek takeover talks
FrieslandCampina had said the parties were “unable to reach agreement” on the terms of the transaction
Dairy giant FrieslandCampina has said it "regrets" not being able to reach an agreement to buy Balkans processors Imlek and Mlekara Subotica.
FrieslandCampina and the owner of the two firms, Danube Foods Group, were "unable to reach agreement" on the terms of the transaction and therefore agreed to end the talks, the Dutch company said.
FrieslandCampina and Danube Foods, owned by private-equity firm Salford Capital Partners, signed a memorandum of understanding on a possible deal in February. FrieslandCampina had been preparing to acquire 79% of Imlek and 82% of Mlekara Subotica.
A spokesperson for FrieslandCampina declined to comment on the reasons for a deal not being reached but told just-food: "When you are working on the final conclusion and the final terms, sometimes you can't agree on them and in our case we didn't agree on the final terms. That's why we both decided to end the talks, which we regret very much because people inside and outside of the company worked very hard on the deal. We think Imlek and Mlekara Subotica would have fitted very well into Friesland Campina."
The spokesperson said he did not expect the company to return to discussions with Danube "in the near future", adding: "We are only interested in an acquisition that is on acceptable terms."
FrieslandCampina said it will "continue searching for opportunities" to enable it to achieve its route2020 strategy.
"[Acquisitions] should fit into our strategy as we want to have sustainable growth and South Eastern Europe will remain an important pillar in that strategy," the spokesperson told just-food. "So any acquisition will have to fit into our strategy and into our activities, which are located in Greece, Hungary and in any countries around Serbia."
FrieslandCampina published its route2020 strategy in June 2010, designed to grow the business globally through a focus on expanding in south-eastern Europe, the Middle East and north Africa, growing its foodservice business in Europe and improving its ingredients range.
Danube has said it is now "considering the possibility of further consolidation" in the food and beverage industry with Imlek. It could not be reached for immediate comment.
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