Agrial, the French agri-food major, is in talks to buy two SME charcuterie suppliers, deals that would follow two acquisitions in the sector in 2017.

The co-op is in discussions to acquire two cooked-meats suppliers: La Bresse, which is based in Servas in southern France; and Sibert, which is located 280km (174 miles) further north in Loyettes, near the city of Lyon. Agrial said both firms were managed by a businessman called Yves Serfaty.

In 2017, Agrial bought Brittany charcuterie firms Brient and Tallec. Announcing today (3 September) the talks to snap up La Bresse and Sibert, Agrial said the two potential new acquisitions “mark a new stage in the development of Agrial’s meats division”.

The co-op said: “The objective is to continue to build of a meats branch made up of SMEs with recognised know-how and offering premium quality products.”

La Bresse and Sibert are “specialised in the manufacture and marketing of cooked meats”, Agrial said, including black pudding and andouillettes [French sausages]. In 2018, the combined turnover of both companies was “close to EUR20m (US$21.9m)”. They had a workforce of 130 employees.

By contrast, when Agrial announced the plans to buy Brient and Tallec, it said those companies were generating turnover of EUR65m and EUR37m respectively.

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Stéphane Poyac, the director of Agrial’s meats division, said: “These acquisition projects should allow us to strengthen our positions in processed meats in France, particularly in the pudding and ham categories. We are continuing to lay the foundations of a meat branch that makes sense for
the members of the cooperative.”

In 2018, Agrial’s overall meat business generated sales of EUR480m, with 420 farmer-members rearing pigs, 170 in poultry and 45 supplying eggs. The co-op’s total sales stood at EUR5.8bn, up 6.5% on a year earlier.