Following the merger of Béghin-Say with the sugar and agro-industrial activities of Eridania in 1992, the Eridania Béghin-Say group, now a world leader in the agro-industrial industry, is to be divided into four new companies. The move will be finalised in June following approval by shareholders. The four new entities are:
- Béghin-Say, second largest producer of sugar and derivatives in Europe and the world;
- CEREOL, which brings together the group’s oilseed activities, edible oils, proteins, and lecithins. This company is the world leader in bottled seed oils and olive oils, as well as in specialty products;
- Cerestar, Europe’s number one producer of starches and derivatives and a leader in the world market;
- Provimi, a leader in animal nutrition in Europe and the US.
The Franco-Italian group said that the operating split and accompanying stock split will give shareholders the advantage of a direct investment in homogenous activities and a better understanding of the potential growth in each sector.
For each share of Eridania Béghin-Say, the shareholders will receive four shares, one from each of the new companies: Béghin-Say, Cerestar, Cereol, and Provimi. The shares of the four new companies will be quoted on the Paris-Euronext stock exchange as of 2 July 2001.
In a statement, the company referred to its many acquisitions and rapid diversification over the last few years, and said it now has to “embark upon a new path to guarantee and, especially, to increase the competitiveness of its many areas of activity. At present, it seems difficult to develop any further synergies between significantly diverse customers, brand names or industrial processes.”