Wessanen

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NETHERLANDS: Wessanen divests US dairy companies, sales process of leerdammer on hold

19 Apr 2001

Further to earlier statements regarding the divestment of its dairy activities the Executive Board of Koninklijke Wessanen nv, the international food group, announces the following: US dairy companies to be sold to National Dairy Holdings L.P. for USD 400 million Adverse European investment climate due to foot and mouth disease puts sales process for Leerdammer Company on hold

OUTLOOK: European Food & Beverages sector mixed

5 Feb 2001

An equity strategy report from Rabobank International, Amsterdam, published on 30 January, tips Nutreco, Danone and Wessanen as "best picks" in the European Food & Beverages sector. The analysts expect that the negative sentiments towards Nutreco in the food safety debate will fade. For Danone they expect to see strong organic sales growth in "winning segments" (bottled water, fresh dairy). The long-term transformation of Wessanen is expected to pay.

NETHERLANDS: CSM downgraded as Bakery Ingredients sales growth slows

14 Dec 2000

Rabo Securities has downgraded Dutch food group CSM to Hold. Although CSM's annual figures, published on 7 December, were in line with expectations, analysts at Rabo have become less positive on CSM's organic sales growth outlook. They have lowered CSM's organic sales growth projections for the next years from 3% to 2.5%.

NETHERLANDS: Wessanen rejects unit buyout bid by Campina

15 Sep 2000

Dutch dairy cooperative Campina has finally revealed why it has been gradually building up its stake in the shares of compatriot food group Wessanen. Yesterday (14 September), chairman Tiny Sanders said that the company was hoping to complete a friendly buyout of the profitable Leerdammer cheese unit, which brings Wessanen annual sales of US$280m.Campina has purchased more than 10% of the listed food group, and a company spokesman said the co-op was also interested in Wessanen's US dairy division. For the meantime, however, Wessanen has announced that it has no plans to sell or swap any of its units.

NETHERLANDS: Wessanen Announces Acquisition of European Market Leader in Natural Foods

10 Jul 2000

The Executive Board of Koninklijke Wessanen, the international food group, yesterday announced that it had reached an agreement with main shareholders of the French Distriborg Group to acquire 51% of Distriborg's shares at Eur 77 per share. Wessanen intends to launch a tender offer at the same price for the remaining shares, which are quoted on the Paris "second marche" stock exchange. The total purchase price for 100% of the shares will amount to Eur 115 million. Wessanen will also assume Eur 35 million of Distriborg's debts. With expected sales of Eur 250 million in 2000, Distriborg is the leading European marketer of natural and specialty foods(1). Products of the group are sold to both supermarket chains and health food shops. With this acquisition, Wessanen will participate in one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry in Europe. It complements the company's efforts to become a major global player in natural and specialty foods. Wessanen is already present in this segment through it's subsidiary Tree of Life, the leading US player with expected sales of Eur 1.8 billion in 2000. There will be a perfect fit between the activities of Distriborg and Tree of Life because of complementary markets and combining the marketing and distribution expertise in the natural and specialty foods market. This acquisition will be consolidated as of August and is expected to make a modest immediate contribution to the earnings per share of Wessanen. The transaction is expected to be completed in October. Wessanen will finance this acquisition via the available credit facilities. The growth strategy of Wessanen places priority on the expansion of natural and specialty foods activities, which form a major and attractive fast growing niche in the global food market. It firmly believes that the consumer trends towards increased attention to health and wellness and the high demand for individualized products offer tremendous added value opportunities.

NETHERLANDS: Wessanen Shareholders Explore Campari IPO

20 Jun 2000

The Executive Board of Koninklijke Wessanen, the international food group, today announced that Campari's shareholders, i.e. the Garavoglia family, Wessanen and UBS, have agreed to explore an initial public offering (IPO) of Campari. No firm decision has been taken on the timing of such an IPO, but it is tentatively expected to take place in 2001. Wessanen will reduce its current 35% interest in Campari in connection with an IPO. More announcements will be made closer to the time of the IPO. Executive Board Koninklijke Wessanen nv Based in The Netherlands, Wessanen produces and markets a wide range of branded and private label dairy, breakfast, frozen and chilled foods. US units (some 50% of sales) include market leader Kemps Frozen Yogurt; Axelrod, Crowley, and Heluva Good Cheese dairy products; and Tree of Life natural and specialty foods distribution. Wessanen ordinary shares are listed on the Amsterdam, London, Swiss and German stock exchanges and trade in the US in ADR form. Each ADR is equal to one ordinary share and prices may be accessed on the NASD OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol KNKWY. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbol WESS NA.

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