Blog: Dean BestMajor M&A deals fall into place

Dean Best | 7 February 2012

Two of the more notable pieces of M&A in the food sector in recent months look to be nearing completion.

Today (7 February), German yoghurt maker Muller said it had secured the backing of Robert Wiseman Dairies shareholders representing almost 94% of the business and declared its GBP279.5m offer "unconditional".

And, yesterday, Swedish confectioner Cloetta said the country's competition authorities had improved its plan to merge with local rival Leaf International.

Muller said that it would look to buy up the rest of Wiseman's shares and said the milk firm would now apply to de-list from the London Stock Exchange.

Over in Sweden, Cloetta shareholders will meet next Wednesday to vote on the merger with Leaf. However, Cloetta investors representing 64% of its share capital and 81% of the votes in the company have stated their support for the transaction. Its main shareholder, Malfors Promotor, which owns over 52% of the business, plans to invest SEK545m in the transaction. Approval from Sweden's competition authority means the deal has taken a significant step forward.

The transactions are two of the major deals agreed in the last two months and both have been covered on just-food's insight pages.

The planned merger between Cloetta and Leaf was lauded by analysts, who argue the enlarged company will benefit from access to more markets and a greater ability to deal with volatile commodity costs.

However, the jury is out over Muller's takeover of Wiseman. Analysts, however, are divided over the benefits of the deal to Müller, with some questioning how much clout the takeover will give the company when dealing with the UK's powerful retailers.

 


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