Lamb Weston / Meijer (LWM), a Dutch potato processing operation jointly owned by Meijer Frozen Foods and Lamb-Weston Holland, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase the Tilburg and Bergen op Zoom, Holland potato processing plants owned by Danisco Foods, which is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Closing of this transaction is scheduled to take place on or about January 15, 2001.

Following this acquisition, LWM’s 1,100 employees will operate a total of four (4) production facilities, to include plants in Kruiningen and Oosterbierum, Holland.  With annual sales exceeding NLG 750 million (Euro 340 million) and capacity to produce over 500,000 metric tons of frozen potato products and 30,000 metric tons of potato flakes, LWM will become the largest producer of frozen potato products in the Netherlands, and the second largest in the European Union. The Bergen op Zoom plant will be upgraded to conform with the LWM high standards for safety and cleanliness and to assume production of only the highest quality potato products.
The Tilburg plant will be closed within approximately 2 years as the french fry line is too small for economical production. The line for formed products in Tilburg will then be moved to one of the other production locations.

Concurrently, LWM will begin to consolidate its product distribution in Bergen op Zoom with the construction of a fully automated cold storage facility, capable of storing about 61,000 euro pallets.  Ground breaking for this new freezer, which will be operated by Partner Logistics, a company formed to manage an important part of LWM’s distribution operations, is planned for May 1, 2001. It is expected that this new distribution center will be fully operational by October 2002.

LWM further stated its intent to continue its expansion with plans to construct and/or purchase additional potato processing capacity within the principal European potato growing regions.