Pastacorp bid for FTL pasta business gets court approval

Pastacorp bid for FTL pasta business gets court approval

The Paris commercial court has approved Pastacorp's takeover bid for the fresh pasta business of Financiere Turenne Lafayette, the under-pressure local food holdings company that is offloading assets.

FTL said the transaction, first announced last month, covers all the unit's assets and 153 jobs. The division primarily sells own-label pasta for retailers, although it does have branded business around the city of Toulouse.

"[The] management is pleased with the outcome of this procedure, which preserves all jobs and provides a favorable future for both companies," FTL said in a statement today (14 June).

Pastacorp markets pasta under the Lustucru and Rivoire & Carret brands. The Lustucru brand is in effect used by two businesses - Pastacorp and Spain's Ebro Foods. When Ebro acquired Lustucru in 2002, France's competition regulator did not allow the Spanish group to buy the whole business, leaving Pastacorp with the right to sell dried pasta under the Lustucru brand.

Two weeks ago, FTL, which has been offloading assets since an audit revealed falsification of the group's accounts, revealed French food businesses Cofigeo and Arterris had made a takeover offer for its ready meals business, which includes the William Saurin brand.

Tomorrow, the Paris commercial court is set to rule on an offer for FTL's charcuterie business from French pork group Cooperl.

FTL, meanwhile, is in discussions with potential suitors for its salad-to-pizza unit.

The company has been offloading assets since an audit, published in December, revealed falsification of the group's accounts. The audit followed the death of FTL founder, president and sole owner, Monique Piffaut, in November.

Following the publication of the audit, the French state signed off emergency aid of EUR70m to FTL, which at the time employed around 3,200 staff.