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December 22, 2020updated 09 Apr 2021 6:51am

Hochdorf completes asset disposals with sale of German cooking oil business

Switzerland's Hochdorf has sold off another asset in Germany, thereby completing disposals that fall outside of its core business of infant formula and dairy ingredients.

By Dean Best

Switzerland’s Hochdorf is selling its cooking oils and flours business in Germany as the company continues to refine its asset model under a new strategic focus on infant formula and dairy ingredients.

Marbacher Ölmühle, which produces organic vegetable oils and flour from a site in Marbach, is being sold to an unnamed family-run company in Germany with an emphasis on organic foods for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close on 30 December, according to a statement from Hochdorf.

Hochdorf acquired Marbacher Ölmühle in 2014 as part of a move to strengthen the Viogerm wheat germ business internationally but is now surplus to requirements after the Swiss firm previously discontinued its cereals and ingredients division. 

“The sale of Marbacher Ölmühle completes the streamlining of the Hochdorf Group portfolio of companies as part of its strategic realignment,” the company said.

“We are proud to have found a strategic investor who can positively influence the further development of Marbacher Ölmühle,” Hochdorf CEO Dr. Peter Pfeilschifter added.

Hochdorf launched a business review in May last year after struggling to amalgamate all of its business units and generate profits. It then proceeded to exit its cereal and ingredients operation, although some parts were integrated into Hochdorf's dairy division. 

In February, Hochdorf sold its 60% holding in German infant-formula manufacturer Uckermärker Milch as the company sought to focus production on Switzerland.

And last December it sold its 51% stake in baby-food subsidiary Pharmalys to the other shareholder Pharmalys Invest Holding, controlled by Amir Mechria, in a deal that included Pharmalys Laboratories SA, Pharmalys Africa Sarl and Pharmalys Tunisia SA.

In May this year, Hochdorf opted to terminate its dried fruit and vegetables unit, Zifru Trockenprodukte in Germany, and the snacks business Snapz Foods in the US and Germany after failing to secure buyers.

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