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March 29, 2019

Orkla set to buy controlling stake in Greek ingredients business Kanakis

Orkla, the Nordic food manufacturer, has agreed a deal to buy the majority of shares in a European ingredients business.

By Leonie Barrie

Orkla, the Nordic food manufacturer, has agreed a deal to buy the majority of shares in Greek ingredients business Kanakis.

Kanakis, or Stelios Kanakis Industrial and Commercial to give it its full name, is a supplier of confectionery, bakery and ice cream ingredients.

Orkla is doing the deal through its wholly-owned subsidiary Orkla Food Ingredients.

Kanakis is listed on the Athens stock exchange, and the founder and his family own approximately 86% of the shares. Orkla has entered into an agreement to acquire approximately 65.8% from Stelios and Maria Kanakis at a purchase price per share of EUR4.35 (US$4.88) per share. 

In connection with this agreement, Orkla has made a voluntary tender offer to all Kanakis shareholders at an offer price of EUR 4.36 per share. 

Completion of the deal is subject to Orkla acquiring 4.18% of the shares in Kanakis from minority shareholders following announcement of the tender offer.

Orkla said that if it attains an ownership interest of over 90% in Kanakis, a “squeeze-out process” will be implemented and the company will be de-listed. At the same time, 20% of the shares will be sold back to the Kanakis family at the same price as in the voluntary tender offer, with the result that the family will own 20% and Orkla 80% of the company.

Johan Clarin, Orkla executive vice president and CEO of Orkla’s food ingredients business, said: “Kanakis has a leading position in our core categories, in addition to a broad-based network of customers and suppliers who are well-known to Orkla Food Ingredients. 

“The company is well-positioned in a region that is seeing good growth.”    The business was established in 1985 by Stelios Kanakis, who is managing director of the company and will continue to serve in that position. The company has 73 employees and had a turnover of EUR20.2m in 2018.   It is the latest in a flurry of deals to be announced by Orkla which today (29 March) also revealed it had made a move for Lecora, a business based in Sweden making schnitzel and vegetarian foods, and bought a minority stake in Portuguese company Asteriscos e Reticências, which produces fermented tea-based health drinks sold in Europe under the Captain Kombucha brand.

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