UK fresh prepared foods and produce company Geest has announced that it has conditionally agreed to acquire the Geneviève Langlais (GLSA) group of companies

Geest is to acquire the group for a cash consideration of €19m (US$20.5m), excluding debt to be assumed of approximately €7m. Geest is purchasing GLSA from its founders, M and Mme Langlais, with completion expected in the next six weeks, pending authorisation from the French competition authorities.

GLSA’s operating business, Crudi, has a leading position in the French market for prepared leaf salads thanks primarily to its principal customer, McDonalds. In addition, Crudi produces convenience salads and, during the past four years, has diversified into other areas. In 2002, it had a turnover of €52m. The business operates from two sites – one in France and the other in Spain.

Geest sees the acquisition of Crudi as highly complementary to Geest’s position in the prepared leaf salad market in France, where its subsidiary, Cinquième Saison, supplies most of the leading French multiple retailers. Following the acquisition of GLSA, Geest will become one of the three largest producers of prepared leaf salads in France, where consumption grew by 11% in 2002.