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July 9, 2021

Fleury Michon’s Canada disposal talks run aground

The French manufacturer had been looking to offload its subsidiary in Canada.

Fleury Michon, the France-based food group, has seen efforts to sell its business in Canada fail to yield a deal.

In May, the company said it was in “exclusive negotiations” to sell Fleury Michon America (FMA) to an unnamed company “based in North America”.

FMA supplies prepared meals to the airline industry. The Quebec-based subsidiary has been owned by Fleury Michon since 2006.

However, in a stock-exchange filing yesterday (8 July) after the end of trading, Fleury Michon said an agreement had not been reached.

“Fleury Michon announces today that the negotiations have not been successful,” the statement read.

The group has other operations supplying the airline sector, principally the Netherlands-based Marfo Food Group, which it acquired in 2019.

In May, Fleury Michon said, despite plans to sell FMA, the company still had “ambitions to grow in airline catering”, which would centre on Marfo.

Yesterday’s statement continued: “Fleury Michon will therefore continue to rely on both FMA and Marfo to develop a leader in international airline catering.

“In the short term, the development of our catering activity is, of course, dependent on the development of the airline sector as a whole, and in particular on its medium- and long-haul component.

“In the medium term, however, we are very confident in the development of this business unit. The intimate knowledge of this market, the professionalism of the FMA and Marfo teams and their joint ability to develop attractive offers for client airlines will be decisive assets in this context.”

Last September, the business struck a deal to sell its 50% stake in a venture in Italy. The company offloaded its half-share of Piatti Freschi Italia, a ready-meals manufacturer in which it had been an investor for almost 20 years.

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