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Finnish food group Valio is to acquire the plant-based brand Gold&Green from local peer Paulig for an undisclosed sum.

Valio said the deal will “further strengthen its position in the global plant protein market”.

Gold&Green Foods, best known for its Pulled Oats product, has been part of Paulig since 2016. Valio is acquiring the titular brand and the R&D team behind the products.

The agreement with Valio does not include the Gold&Green Foods production site in Järvenpää or other Gold&Green Foods operations.

Paulig, which will sell Gold&Green products under licence from Valio in all markets, is initiating plans to phase out the Gold&Green Foods operations which are excluded from the transaction.

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By GlobalData

The planned closure would take place later in 2022 and will directly affect 69 employees at Gold&Green Foods.

Speaking about the transaction announced today (1 March), Tuomas Salusjärvi, executive vice president, growth businesses and R&D at Valio, said: “Gold&Green has been a pioneer in the field of plant-based food and new product development and Valio has successfully developed its Oddlygood plant-based product portfolio.

“Now, the Gold&Green R&D team joins us in reaching our strategic goal – to further strengthen our position in the growing global plant protein market. Together, we will develop the innovations in Gold&Green’s pipeline and continue the story of the brand.”

Valio already markets plant-based meat products, including alternatives to burgers, minced meat and chicken strips, under its Valio MiFU brand.

“Paulig will continue to produce and sell current Gold&Green products under licence from Valio in all markets until a potential phase-out of the operations. We will also explore options to enable the availability of selected products in the future together with Paulig,” Salusjärvi said. “As for future products, the plans are underway. Valio has 12 factories in Finland and depending on the product and market area, other options are also possible.”

Paulig’s CEO Rolf Ladau said: “We believe that plant-based diets are a growing trend and will continue to contribute to this growth through our Tex Mex, spices and snacks product categories. Over the years, we have invested in the international growth of Gold&Green and its products are currently available in 17 countries. However, we have not been able to scale the business in a profitable way.

“This agreement with Valio secures the continuity of the unique and innovative Gold&Green brand and enables the realisation of its full potential in the future.”

Asked why Valio thinks it can build a profitable business from the Gold&Green assets, Salusjärvi said: “Our focus is in introducing new, interesting products to the market, drawn from Valio and Gold&Greens combined innovation pipeline. Valio can leverage its proven capabilities of delivering products from development to manufacturing and all the way to the market.”