NETHERLANDS: Meat giant Vion wants to quit UK

By Dean Best | 19 November 2012

  • Vion already in talks over asset sales
  • Decision follows plan to close Hall's of Broxburn factory in UK
Vion has 38 sites in the UK

Vion has 38 sites in the UK

Dutch meat supplier Vion has announced it wants to quit the UK, a market it has said suffers from over-capacity and "extremely challenging" trading conditions.

Vion said today (19 November) it is already in "detailed discussions with a number of interested parties, including management" over the acquisition of parts of its UK business.

"These are progressing well," Vion chairman Peter Barr said. "The level of interest in the businesses has been strong and we hope to be in a position in the near future to give further details about the progress which has been made. The sale process will be completed in a smooth and orderly fashion to ensure business continuity for our employees, agricultural and other suppliers and our customers."

Vion, which entered the UK in the late 1990s, employs 13,000 people at 38 sites in the country. 

However, parts of its business in the UK have faced problems. In July, Vion announced it wanted to close its loss-making Hall's of Broxburn plant in Scotland amid over-capacity in the UK meat sector.

Last month, despite talks with the Scottish government, Vion confirmed it would close the facility despite takeover interest, a decision that proved controversial.

Vion said none of the bids it received for the site provided a "viable alternative" for the plant. However, a bidder for the Hall's factory accused Vion of being "far from honest" and had asked for too high a price. Vion said the critical suitor, Graf Mortgage Corp., was "not a credible bidder".

Vion said today it wants to focus on its "core" operations in the Netherlands and Germany, as well as developing its ingredient business.

Show the press release

 

VION NV Announces Sale of UK Food Operations

Date: 19th November 2012

Dutch-based food producer VION NV has announced that it has embarked on a process to sell its UK food businesses to concentrate on its core markets in the Netherlands and Germany and the development of its global ingredients business.

VION NV is confident that it will successfully sell its UK pork, red meat and poultry business units as ongoing viable businesses.

Peter Barr, chairman of VION UK said: “Working with our advisors Rabobank/Rothschild, we have already started detailed discussions with a number of interested parties, including management, regarding the acquisition of the various parts of the UK business and these are progressing well.

The level of interest in the businesses has been strong and we hope to be in a position in the near future to give further details about the progress which has been made.

The sale process will be completed in a smooth and orderly fashion to ensure business continuity for our employees, agricultural and other suppliers and our customers.”

VION NV entered the UK in the late 1990’s with the acquisition of Key Country Foods, followed by Tranfield and subsequently Grampian Country Food Group in 2008 and today employs 13,000 people at 38 sites in the UK. The company supplies beef, lamb, pork and chicken products to a broad range of blue-chip customers across the food retailing, food manufacturing and food service sectors.

In October, VION NV announced that it had entered into an agreement for the sale of US-based Banner Pharmacaps, a specialised manufacturer and developer of soft gel caps for the pharmaceutical industry, to Patheon Inc.

The strategic decision of VION NV move follows an analysis of VION’s UK food operations and will see the group returning to its core activities, focusing entirely on its food operations in the Netherlands and Germany and its global food ingredients business.

 

Original source: Vion

Sectors: Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Private label

Companies: Vion

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