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September 3, 2020

Atlantic Grupa’s consolidation continues with sale of Bebi baby-food brand

Croatian consumer goods company Atlantic Grupa is selling off another asset as part of a consolidation process.

By Dean Best

Atlantic Grupa is selling off another asset as part of a consolidation process, with the Croatian consumer goods company set to sell its Bebi baby-food brand to Nelt Grupa in Serbia.

While Nelt, based in Dobanovci in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, will take control of the Bebi brand, Atlantic Grupa’s manufacturing facility in Mirna, Slovenia, is not a part of the agreement. The factory and its employees will remain in the hands of the Croatian business.

Financial terms and the expected closing of the agreement were not disclosed in a statement from Atlantic Grupa, which in the spring of last year disposed of its sports nutrition and functional food business, including brands such as Multipower, Champ and Multaben, to Germany’s Genuport.

“Selling the Bebi brand is a part of the process of disinvestment of smaller and non-core operations,” Atlantic Grupa said. “The process began two-and-a-half years ago with the company’s exit from the sports and functional food segments, and continued after the company sold its cosmetics and food supplements businesses as well as its segment of distribution of water in water dispenser bottles.” 

Nelt is engaged in the distribution of consumer products and counts Mondelez International, Mars, Arla Foods, Dr. Oetker and FrieslandCampina among its customers. It is also involved in logistics services and food production, including products for infants and children.

Its main markets are in Russia and countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

The Bebi brand generated sales revenues of EUR11m (US$13m) last year.

“By acquiring the Bebi brand, which has a long tradition and an established position in the Russian market, the company [Nelt] confirms its strategic commitment to further development and international expansion,” the statement read.  

Atlantic Grupa added that once the transaction is completed, the company will find an “alternative range of products” to produce at the Mirna site. 

It continued: “At the same time, the company is placing a strong focus on the key areas which are major generators of growth (food and drinks, as well as the pharmacy business) and the basis for future transformation. 

“This process includes targeted internationalisation of brands with international potential … as well as the development of distribution as an important catalyst for growth of [the] business, and mergers and acquisitions.” 

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