France-based co-op Terrena is eyeing the acquisition of a majority stake in frozen and shelf-stable food manufacturer Tipiak.

Terrena, which owns brands including Pere Dodu chicken, is in “exclusive negotiations” to buy just short of 78% of the publicly-listed business.

Last month, Tipiak revealed it had hired investment bank Macquarie Capital and was looking at “different options” for its future.

Terrena is looking to acquire 77.95% of Tipiak from a group of majority shareholders that includes chairman Hubert Grouès, who said he is “happy” with the proposal from the co-op.

The offer on the table values 100% of Tipiak at €80.4m ($84.9m), or €88 a share. If the agri-food co-operative strikes a deal for the controlling stake, it will then launch a mandatory offer for the rest of the shares in Tipiak, which is listed on the Euronext.

In a joint statement, Tipiak said its board welcomed the bid. Talks with staff at both companies will now take place. The businesses expect a deal to “probably” be finalised during the first half of next year.

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Terrena, which has more than 12,300 staff, generated a turnover of €5.4bn in 2022, up 8% on a year earlier. The company booked a net profit of €16.8m, 34.4% higher than in 2021. Its interests include businesses in meat and fresh produce.

Nantes-based Tipiak, known for its patisserie products and recipe creations, has a portfolio including prepared foods, frozen ready-made meals, desserts and artisan bread.

In 2022, Tipiak recorded revenues of €239.4m, an increase of 13% year-on-year, while net income of €4.1m was up 1.2%.

Terrena president Olivier Chaillou said: “This merger project offers Terrena a unique opportunity to strengthen its presence in the plant-based market while developing its presence in the field of deli products. We are responding to our desire to find new areas of growth while meeting consumer expectations in terms of quality and authenticity.”

Grouès added: “I am happy with the agreement concluded between the majority shareholders of Tipiak and the Terrena group which would make it possible to increase the development of the Tipiak group and to pursue the ambition of making Tipiak a major, iconic, culinary brand from aperitifs to desserts in France and in many countries.”