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July 18, 2011

SPAIN: Cacaolat set for September sale

The sale of bankrupt Spanish food and drink firm Cacaolat could take place in September, a senior executive working with one of the bidding firms has told just-food.

The sale of bankrupt Spanish food and drink firm Cacaolat could take place in September, a senior executive working with one of the bidding firms has told just-food.

“We are supposed to get access to the data room this week, then there will be an information session and then a preliminary bidding round in mid-August,” the executive said. “We hope the final bidding round will be in early September as the company really needs cash.”

The executive said the court has asked each bidder for a EUR3m bond to confirm their interest in Cacaolat and provide the company with much needed cash.

However, the executive said the company he is working with would not provide the bond, which he described as an “inappropriate tactic” by the court to improve Cacaolat’s liquidity. The executive claimed there was no guarantee the company would get the money back.

The executive said dairy company Capsa, bottled water firm Vichy Catalan and Spanish private-equity firms Hiperion Capital Management and Victory Corporate Turnaround are the four firms that have expressed interest in buying Cacaolat and have requested access to its finances. The executive dismissed speculation that Leche Pascual and Nestle are also interested in the company, which is in difficulty after the bankruptcy of owner Nueva Rumasa.

“We are interested in Cacoalat because it’s a leading brand with a 90% market share in Catalonia with a very good distribution network,” the executive said. 

However, he said that, with Cacoalat’s output at low levels, the company has “very little cash” and its sales have “plummeted”.

The executive added: “They really need to sell this company soon or I don’t know how they will survive.”

The four purported bidders would not comment. Leche Pascual, Nestle and the bankruptcy court did not return messages.

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