FRANCE: Fund Qualium in talks to buy biscuit maker Poult
French firm Biscuit Poult is up for sale
Private-equity group LBO France is in exclusive talks to sell French market leader for private-label biscuits, Biscuit Poult, to investment fund Qualium Investissement.
Qualium, a subsidiary of French state bank, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), has an asset portfolio that includes fast food chain Quick.
A spokesperson for LBO France confirmed to just-food a French report that said the two parties had agreed in principle on a price of around EUR170m (US$234m).
One of Poult's rivals, Bouvard, had also submitted a bid. However, LBO France has bowed to the wishes of Poult's management that the Toulouse-based firm preserve its independence.
A spokesperson for Qualium confirmed exclusive negotiations were underway but declined to comment further.
Poult makes biscuits for the majority of French supermarket chains, as well as for Wessanen's organic brand Bjorg. It posted a turnover of EUR190m in 2013, an increase of 12% on the previous year and up 50% since 2007.
In October, LBO France sold Poult's Polish subsidiary, Dr Gerard, to private-equity counterpart Bridgepoint for an undisclosed sum.
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