NETHERLANDS: Possible sale of the Danisco potato processing business to Lamb Weston / Meijer v.o.f. (LWM)
LWM is the Kruiningen (the Netherlands) based joint venture between Lamb Weston Inc., a leading potato processor in the USA, and the family owned Dutch Meijer potato group. LWM is active in processing and marketing of frozen potato products, among which American specialties, and potato flakes. LWM has factories in Kruiningen and Oosterbierum (the Netherlands) and employs about 650 people. Acquisition of the Danisco potato business fits in LWM's strategy to expand in Europe. Danisco is one of the world's leading developers and producers of food ingredients. Last year, Danisco reported net sales of DKK 28 billion and employed nearly 18,000 people in more than 40 countries.Danisco's broad product portfolio includes emulsifiers, stabilisers, flavourings, various types of fat replacers and sweeteners such as xilitol and fructose. Many of these ingredients are produced from natural raw materials and contribute for instance to improving the texture of products such as bread, ice cream and yogurt. Danisco is also one of the largest and most efficient sugar producers in Europe and a producer of advanced food packaging solutions protecting and keeping food fresh. The food business, including potato products, is for Danisco no longer core business. The Danisco potato business in the Netherlands consists of a factory in Bergen op Zoom and a factory in Tilburg. Both factories together employ 300 people. The factories produce French fries, potato flakes and formed products. LWM and Danisco expect to close the transaction before the end of the year 2000.
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