Spain-based group Ebro Foods has snapped up local organic business Vegetalia.

Ebro said today (19 January) it had paid EUR15m (US$16m) for Vegetalia from the Barcelona-based business’ founding shareholder Salvador Sala Druguet.

Vegetalia, set up in 1986, markets organic products from bakery lines to pasta. Its range also includes organic vegetarian foods. The company, which employs 80 staff, generated sales of EUR11.5m in 2016, Ebro said. Ebro did not disclose Vegetalia’s profits.

Ebro said the acquisition expands its presence in the organic market and fits its organic business in France. Last January, Ebro struck a deal to acquire French organic food group Celnat for EUR25.5m. The purchase of Celnat was Ebro’s first inorganic move to expand its operations in organic food.

“With this acquisition, Ebro Foods increases its market share in organic food. Moreover, this is an excellent complement to the business currently operated by the group in France after buying up Celnat,” Ebro said.

In December, another Spanish organic business, Biogran, was sold. Dutch food group Wessanen snapped up Biogran from local private-equity firm Nazca Capital for EUR67m.

Organic sales in Spain increased 16% to EUR1.4bn in 2015, according to the most recent data from the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and Food.

Wessanen looks to unlock Spanish market with Biogran buy – analysis

The organic sector has been touted as one that could be fertile ground for M&A in the food sector in 2017. See our analysis here.