Lantmannen has announced it is to acquire Vaasan

Lantmannen has announced it is to acquire Vaasan

Swedish agricultural cooperative Lantmännen is to buy local bakery group Vaasan from private-equity firm Lion Capital.

Lantmännen, which already owns around 8% of Vaasan, plans to merge the business with Lantmännen Unibake, its bakery arm that produces frozen and fresh bread products for the retail and foodservice sectors.

Lantmännen said the acquisition adds "several new products and concepts to its business, including an "established international position" within crisp bread. It will also allow it to expand and develop its presence in the Baltic Sea region.

"The acquisition is well in line with our strategic ambitions to enhance our position in Northern Europe within our international bakery operations in Lantmännen Unibake," Per Olof Nyman, Lantmännen's president and CEO, said. "Vaasan and Lantmännen Unibake complement each other in many ways and together we can better respond to changing customer needs, expand our product line, and achieve a larger critical mass within product development and innovation to benefit our customers."

In 2013, Vaasan's net sales amounted to around EUR415m (US$486.4m) and the company employs approximately 2,745 people. When Lion Capital acquired the business in 2007, Vaasan's sales were EUR334m. It had 3,450 staff.

Half of Vaasan's revenue is generated in Finland, with sales across Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

Vaasan CEO Esa Rautalinko said: ""Through this acquisition we join a leading Nordic company within our own industry and our abilities to serve our customers and consumers will further improve. The acquisition also means increased possibilities for international development and new and exciting opportunities for Lantmannen’s and Vaasan’s employees and leaders."

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, is expected to close in mid-2015.