PinguinLutosa eyes growth with Scana Noliko buy

PinguinLutosa eyes growth with Scana Noliko buy

Private-equity group Gimv has agreed to sell canned produce maker Scana Noliko to Belgium-based vegetable processor PinguinLutosa.

Scana Noliko, in which Gimv owns a 90% stake, sells private-label canned fruit and vegetables, soups, pastas and sauces across the EU, sourcing the products from farmers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

The deal, which remains subject to unspecified conditions and anti-trust approval, values Scana Noliko at EUR155m (US$216.5m). For Scana Noliko's present financial year, which ends on 31 March, the company is set to generate EUR180m in sales, Gimv said.

"The tie-up of Scana Noliko and PinguinLutosa today creates one of the largest vegetable processing groups in Europe. This combination of strength and know-how puts the group in pole position to play a key role in the further consolidation of the sector, in which scale is an increasingly important factor", said Alain Keppens, head of buyouts at Gimv.

PinguinLutosa called its plan to acquire Scana Noliko as a "major step forward" for its own business. The deal has led to changes in PinguinLutosa's management, with key shareholder Hein Deprez becoming the firm's managing director. CEO Herwig Dejonghe will remain in his role and oversee PinguinLutosa's frozen division. Scana Noliko CEO Dominiek Stinckens will stay with the business and be responsible for the operations acquired as part of the transaction.

"With this acquisition we take an important new step in the further expansion of PinguinLutosa as an important food group, of which preserved foods in cans or glass jars are a good, stable supplement to the existing product range," Deprez said. "This all relates to a clear profiling of PinguinLutosa as an international food group with solid Flemish roots, which aims to optimise and the results of the entire group."

PinguinLutosa plans to pay for the Scana Noliko transaction through issuing new shares and financing. Gimv will buy shares worth EUR24m in PinguinLutosa and provide a loan with warrants of EUR36m. PinguinLutosa's controlling shareholder Food Invest International - controlled by the Deprez family - will buy shares in the company worth EUR8.5m and provide bridge financing of EUR30m.

Gimv's acquisition of shares will give the fund a 13% stake in PinguinLutosa, a shareholding that will grow to 27% if the warrants are exercised.

Peter Maenhout, executive vice president of Gimv-XL, added: "We are very pleased that Gimv-XL can support the further transformation of PinguinLutosa. The vision and entrepreneurship of the Deprez and Dejonghe families ensure that this group can serve as a platform for further growth in turnover and profit."