The prospective new owners of Natra have given an indication of its plans for the Spain-based supplier of private-label chocolate products.
World Confectionery Group, an investment vehicle controlled by Luxembourg-registered investment group Investindustrial Advisors, has received regulatory approval in Spain for its offer to buy Natra for up to EUR158.3m (US$177.3m).
In January, Investindustrial Advisors announced it had offered EUR142m for the Madrid-headquartered Natra’s shares and convertible bonds.
In May, the investment firm upped its bid that will reach EUR158.3m if backed by all Natra shareholders. Investindustrial is now offering EUR1 for each Natra share and the same amount for each convertible shares, compared to the previous offer of EUR0.90 a share and EUR1 for convertible share.
Natra’s board issued a report to to Spain’s stock market regulator, the CNMV, last week. The Natra board said the new offer “adequately reflects the value of the company”. The bid has received the backing of Natra shareholders representing 59.76% of the company’s voting rights.
The offer will run until 12 July. Investindustrial Advisors plans to launch a so-called ‘squeeze-out’ of Natra’s shareholders should 90% of the company’s investors and bondholders back the offer.
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The report issued last week included an outline of Investindustrial Advisors’ plans for the business.
The pan-European private-equity house is eyeing “integration and centralisation of the sales team”, as well as intending the “implementation of efficiency policies and resource-planning systems, rationalisation of production planning, sales and customer portfolio”.
Natra specialises in chocolate products for private-label brands and other food companies, as well as in cocoa derivatives. Its consumer goods division is responsible for the manufacturing of chocolate tablets, countlines, spreads and Belgian chocolates and specialities, which are targeted mainly at Europe, with Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain and the UK as main markets. Natra has six production centres in Spain, Belgium, France and Canada.
Investindustrial Advisors wants a “geographical diversification of sales” and the “consolidation of Natra’s positioning in the mid-range segment and increased penetration in the premium segment”, the report read.
The private-equity house is planning to make “significant investments in production plants focused on replacing obsolete lines”, as well as the “possible acquisition of new production plants”, the report continued.
On M&A, Investindustrial Advisors intends to implement what the report called “a buy-and-build strategy using Natra’s platform to expand its business”.
The report added: “Both investment plan and possible mergers and acquisitions will require financial resources to be covered by capital increases and financial debt.”
Natra could see disposals. “Following the takeover bid, the bidder plans to carry out a detailed review of Natra’s assets, focusing on identifying
alternatives to optimise existing resources.”
On jobs, Investindustrial Advisors “intends to rely on Natra’s current management team for analysis, investment and asset management. It also plans to strengthen the management team with new incorporations.”