Hibernia Foods plc (Nasdaq: HIBNY)

  • Strategic Move Into the Rapidly Growing Chilled Desserts Market
  • Trailing Chilled Desserts Revenues of Stg(pound)10.1m ($14.6m)

Hibernia Foods plc (NASDAQ: HIBNY; “Hibernia”) yesterday announced that it is scheduled to complete its fourth UK acquisition with the acquisition of the trade and certain assets relating to the chilled desserts business of La Boheme Limited, Birmingham, UK, by the end of the month.

Consideration in the form of cash will be payable on completion at which stage further details relating to the transaction will be announced.

“We are delighted with the addition of La Boheme’s chilled desserts business which is an excellent complement to our dominant position in the UK frozen desserts market and our growing Entenmann’s branded chilled desserts business,” noted Hibernia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Murphy. “Our existing Entenmann’s chilled desserts range is the brand leader and premium quality range in the sector and has achieved listings with the major retailers in the UK. The acquisition of La Boheme’s chilled desserts business will give us a material presence in the chilled desserts market, which is currently valued at approximately Stg(pound)250m (approximately $365m), and has been experiencing double digit market growth, and will provide us with an ideal platform from which to drive revenues and profitability in the exciting convenience foods sector.”

La Boheme’s chilled desserts business reported revenues of Stg(pound)10.1m (approximately $14.6m) for the year ended September 30th, 2000. The chilled desserts business is profitable and Hibernia anticipates that this profitability will be significantly enhanced through buying and other synergies as well as anticipated revenue growth.

The chilled desserts business supplies Tesco PLC with premium quality hand finished chilled patisserie products such as choux buns, and tartes aux fruits. Hibernia already supplies Tesco PLC with private label frozen desserts, Entenmann’s branded sweet baked goods and chilled desserts. Tesco PLC is the largest retailer in the UK with annual revenues of approximately Stg(pound)19bn (approximately $27.5bn).

As part of the transaction, Hibernia is also acquiring La Boheme’s frozen desserts business, which supplies the foodservice market, and reported revenues of Stg(pound)2.4m (approximately $3.5m) for the year ended September 30th, 2000.

The transaction is anticipated to be completed by the end of the current quarter and therefore will have an immediate positive impact on revenues and earnings for the first quarter of Hibernia’s fiscal year, commencing April 1, 2001.

Hibernia Foods plc is a leading manufacturer of branded cakes and branded ready-meals, and private-label frozen desserts, ready-meals and savory products, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with significant manufacturing facilities in the North East and South West of England. It is the exclusive European license holder for Entenmann’s branded sweet-baked cakes throughout all of geographical Europe, representing 52 countries and a population of over 700 million people.

This report contains forward-looking statements based upon certain assumptions by management, some of which may not materialize, and unanticipated events may occur which could effect the business of Hibernia and the markets for its products. Forward-looking statements contained herein involve a number of risk and uncertainties including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors.