PinguinLutosa, the Belgium-based frozen-food group, has finalised plans to take control of the deep-frozen vegetable business of French co-operative Centrale Cooperative Agricole Bretonne (CECAB).

The Belgian company is set to buy CECAB’s sales offices in France and Brazil and take charge of seven of the French firm’s sites – two domestic plants, four in Poland and one in Hungary.

The deal also sees CECAB take a stake in PinguinLutosa. CECAB will buy EUR10m (US$14m) of shares for EUR11.67 a share in a private placement.

The two sides had been in talks since May but the deal, announced on Thursday (14 October), will not see PinguinLutosa take control of the seven CECAB facilities until May next year.

The new production season for the vegetables starts in May and is set to follow a “difficult” year after a “bad harvest” in Poland and Hungary, PinguinLutosa said.

From May, the results from the seven sites will be included in PinguinLutosa’s figures. The combined sales from the plants amounted to EUR140m in 2009. That year, PinguinLutosa’s deep-frozen vegetable division generated sales of EUR224.4m.

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