DISPOSAL OF MALT
Greencore Group has entered into a conditional agreement with Axéréal to sell its malt businesses in the UK, Ireland and Belgium.
Completion of the disposal is conditional upon the approval by the shareholders in accordance with the listing rules. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the company is to be held in early March 2010.
Axéréal was formed in June 2009 as a result of a merger between two leading French cooperatives, Agralys and Epis Centre. This merger has established Axéréal as one of the leading players in the French grain sector with a collection of over 5 million tonnes of grain, with trade exceeding 8 million tonnes and a total turnover of €2.8 billion.
Axéréal has a number of significant operations in the agricultural processing industries of malting, flour milling and animal feed. Axéréal acquired Boortmalt in 2004 and since that time has invested both organically and by acquisition to develop a current malting operation of 620,000 tonnes with plants in Belgium, France, Hungary and Croatia. More than 70% of current capacity is less than 10 years old underlining their commitment to investment in the business.
Greencore Malt when combined with Boortmalt will result in a business of more than 1.1 million tonnes establishing it as the fifth largest malting operation globally. The enlarged organisation will operate under the name Boortmalt.
Commenting on the disposal Greencore Group CEO Patrick Coveney said:
“The companies that comprise Greencore Malt have a long and proud history and have been significant contributors to Greencore earnings and cashflow in recent years. We believe, however, that with developments in the malt market and Greencore’s increasing focus on its core convenience food business in both the UK and US, now is an appropriate time to sell the business. We believe the Transaction agreed with Axéréal fairly reflects the value of the business and, moreover, will tighten our strategic focus, strengthen the Group’s balance sheet and provide capital to fund our future growth plans. We wish the management and employees of Greencore Malt well as part of the broader Axéréal team.”
To view the full statement please click here.