The Spanish Competition Commission Approves the Purchase of “La Cocinera” by Findus Group

  • The acquisition will include the frozen ready meal business based at the Valladoilid factory and the La Cocinera brand in Spain. Findus is not buying the Valladolid factory as part of the deal, but will have control over its operations.
  • This purchase will allow Findus Southern Europe to reinforce its position in the ready meals category in France, Spain and Belgium.

The Findus Group today announces that it has secured approval from the Spanish Competition Authorities (la Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia) for the acquisition, without conditions, of La Cocinera frozen ready to eat meals business from Nestlé Spain. The acquisition will include the frozen ready meal business based at the Valladolid factory and La Cocinera brand in Spain, which has a retail turnover of some 65million euros. The acquisition will double the retail scale of Findus Group’s operations in Spain. Nestlé and Findus will now move forward to close the deal as soon as possible.

Jordi Fábregas, Managing Director of Findus Spain, said: “We are pleased to be bringing La Cocinera and its employees into the Findus Spain family. This is a great opportunity to achieve a leadership position in ready meals in Spain and we look forward to moving forward with this together.”

James Hill, Chief Executive of Findus Group, said: “This is an important acquisition for Findus Group, which will more than double our retail sales in Spain, helping to achieve critical scale in this market and further our overall business strategy. La Cocinera is a well-regarded brand in Spain, with a 50 year heritage, a reputation for supplying high quality food and clear market leadership in frozen ready meals. Findus already has a market leadership position in frozen vegetables in Spain and this acquisition will increase our presence in the growing Spanish frozen ready meal market. We expect to achieve significant synergies from integrating this business unit with our existing operations.”

The factory, which has 170 employees, produces a range of frozen ready meals which are sold under the La Cocinera brand (cannelloni, croquettes and chicken nuggets amongst others). The intention of Findus Group is to continue to develop the La Cocinera brand, which is already deeply rooted in the market.

In Southern Europe, Findus is dedicated to the production and commercialisation of frozen products, and is leader in vegetables and stir fries. This acquisition will provide Findus’ first production centre for ready meals in Spain and will furthermore allow Findus Southern Europe to reinforce its position in the ready meals category in France, Spain and Belgium.

The new factory adds to the manufacturing footprint of over 15 production plants (in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and France), that Findus Group already operates across Europe.

As part of the deal, Findus Spain will gain control of the state-of-the-art, well invested, frozen meal production facility in Valladolid. The acquisition will be financed from existing Findus Group cash-flow. Findus Group is one of Europe’s leading seafood and frozen food businesses with a turnover in excess of 1.4billion euros. The additional turnover that this acquisition will add represents less than 5% of the current turnover of the Findus Group internationally. The acquisition follows Findus Group’s positive performance in 2014, achieving operating cash-flow of £67million and EBITDA of £91million for the year, up 4% on the previous year, on a constant currency basis. 2014 was Findus Group’s second year of positive constant currency growth and the Group continues to be optimistic for the financial year ending 2015.

About Findus: Findus Group is one of Europe’s leading seafood and frozen food businesses, with more than 6,000 employees and a turnover in excess of 1.4billion euros. Providing chilled, frozen, branded and own-label, fish, vegetables and meals across Europe, Findus Group offers a wide range of local food to local markets. Findus Southern Europe is a market leader with sales of 300million euros, and is number 1 in France, number 3 in Spain and number 3 in Belgium in the frozen market. Findus Southern Europe is recognised for its unique innovative model which has allowed it to double its business in France and, at the same time, lead the way in promoting sustainable fishing. Findus Spain is currently the leading brand in two of the largest frozen categories: vegetables and stir fries.

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