European frozen vegetable groups Bonduelle and Ardo have announced plans to set up a business-to-business venture to supply the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

The company said today (6 April) Findus will be one of Bonduelle and Ardo’s key customers in Spain and Portugal, after the venture secured a deal to exclusively supply the business.

As part of the agreement, Findus will also take on Bonduelle’s Frudesa and Salto brands and take back the direct responsibility for sales and marketing of its Findus brand from Ardo, after licensing them to Ardo in 2005.

The Bonduelle and Ardo joint venture will be set up in Spain and will involve Bonduelle’s Benimodo production site and Ardo’s Marcilla packing and storage site. The new entity will be owned equally by the two groups and should have a turnover of approximately EUR100m (US$142m).

As well as supplying the Findus, Frudesa and Salto brands, the Bonduelle and Ardo venture will also service Ardo and Gelagri’s private-label businesses in Spain and Portugual. The venture will also supply the the Bonduelle foodservice brand in Spain and Portugal and the Bonduelle branded business in Portugal.

The companies said the announcements signal the return of Findus to the two countries, with a “strong ambition to develop and invest interms of advertising and innovation behind the Findus, Frudesa and Salto brands”.

Findus aims to drive category growth in the frozen vegetable market with both the Findus and Frudesa brands, as well as relaunching in the ready meal segment with the Salto brand.

The agreement is subject to the approval of Spanish competition authorities.