French food group Tipiak has signed off on a contract to sell a majority stake to local agri-food cooperative Terrena.

The deal, which has been in the pipeline since at least October, will now go up for review by the competition authorities in France before it is finally rubber stamped, according to a filing yesterday (21 December) with the Euronext stock exchange.

Tipiak said the majority share – held by the companies Maison Groult and Société de Gestion Billard, along with Mr. Hubert Grouès – now amounts to 77.53%, instead of the initial 77.95%, after a sale of 5,000 “free shares”.

The bid price for the so-called “control block” was revised lower earlier this month to €82 ($90.3 today) a share, from the original offer of €88.

However, Terrena, which owns brands including Pere Dodu chicken, is seeking to buy up the remaining interest in Tipiak at €88 once the first part of the transaction is approved by the competition regulator.

That decision is expected during the first half of next year, Tipiak said.

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By GlobalData

Nantes-based Tipiak, which has a portfolio including prepared foods, frozen ready-made meals, desserts and artisan bread, added its board chair and general manager will be retained post-transaction. That applies to Eric André and Jean-Joseph Schiehlé, respectively, from 1 January.

Just Food has approached Terrena for comment on its side of the proceedings.

Tipiak, meanwhile, provided a cautionary note on its 2023 turnover in its earlier December filing revealing the revised bid.

The sum is likely to come in at “close” to €230m, while the company’s gross operating surplus is expected to be “significantly less” than €16m.

In 2022, Tipiak recorded revenue of €239.4m, an increase of 13% year-on-year, while the gross operating surplus rose 13.4% to €21.1m. Net income of €4.1m was up slightly from €4m a year earlier.

Tipiak advised in September that the business was seeing a decline in sales of chilled catering products, especially from “a major international client”, which would have a “significant impact” on its annual 2023 results.

The company also pointed to inflation weighing on “food consumption” in its home market and overseas.

Tipiak’s year-to-date turnover was down 6% at €166m at the end of October, with the chilled sector down 11%, the company said in a separate stock-exchange filing in November. Group volumes by tons were 9% lower, with dry goods volumes down 7% and chilled 15%.