Raisio talks up healthy snacks

Raisio talks up healthy snacks

Raisio, the Finnish food group, said today (10 February) that the company had made an offer for UK firm Glisten due to the recent growth in "premium", healthy snacks.

The Benecol brand owner has tabled a bid worth EUR22.8m for Glisten, the UK company behind brands like Skinny Candy, Fruitus and Dormen's nuts.

Glisten's management and main shareholders support the offer, which will be put before the firm's shareholders next month.

Raisio has set up a UK business - Bidco - to acquire Glisten should its bid prove successful. Bidco will be renamed Raisio UK.

A Raisio spokesperson said it was "too early" to comment on whether the company would keep Glisten's Leeds headquarters or whether UK jobs would be affected by the move. "We are happy to talk about all these issues but it is too early at this stage," the spokesperson said.

However, the spokesperson told just-food that the acquisition would give both companies the chance to grow.

"The acquisition provides both companies with good opportunities to grow both in the UK and in Raisio's markets. Glisten is very strong in premium snacks and we have been looking for growth in the snacking sector," she said. "This is one of the categories that has been growing because people are eating on the go, in the UK and Europe."

Raisio is set to announce its 2009 results tomorrow. In November, Raisio posted a rise in underlying profits for the first nine months of 2009.

CEO Matti Rihko then said he was looking for Raisio to grow into 2010 and 2011 after selling its margarine operations to Bunge last spring to improve the company's focus.

The spokesperson said today that Raisio was "moving into a growth phase".

"We have gone through a turnaround and an improvement in profitability. This is the third phase. We are looking for growth - both through organic growth and acquisitions."