Orkla-utvider-i-Baltikum-med-oppkjoep-av-sterke-lokale-merker_medium  ORKLA EXPANDS ITS BALTIC OPERATION BY ACQUIRING STRONG LOCAL BRANDS Orkla utvider i Baltikum med oppkjoep av sterke lokale merker mediumOrkla has entered into an agreement with Nordic Partners Food Limited to purchase NP Foods Group.

NP Foods Group includes the companies and brands Laima, Staburadze, Gutta, Margiris and Staburadzes Konditoreja.

The acquisition will nearly double the scale of Orkla’s Baltic operations, making Orkla one of the largest consumer goods companies in the region.

“With a history dating back more than 140 years, Laima is one of the strongest confectionery brands in the Baltic region. The acquisition of Laima and other well-established brands is strategically important to Orkla, and will significantly strengthen our foothold in the region,” says Orkla President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka.

The iconic chocolate brand Laima has a market share of more than 30% in the Latvian chocolate market. The local Selga, Staburadze, Gutta, Everest, Fresh Walk and Pedro brands will also boost Orkla’s presence in the Baltic biscuits, cakes, juice, water and ready meal markets.

Orkla is already represented in the Baltic region through the branded consumer goods companies Spilva and Latfood (Latvia), Kalev and Põltsamaa Felix (Estonia) and Suslavičius-Felix (Lithuania), which hold solid market positions in the confectionery, ready meals and ketchup segments.

“We have a strong portfolio of local brands with leading market positions. The newly acquired companies are a good strategic fit for Orkla, and will strengthen our position as the leading consumer goods company in the region,” says Christer Åberg, CEO of Orkla Confectionery & Snacks.

“Orkla’s acquisition of NP Foods gives us access to new technology, in-depth expertise and a well-documented food and product safety system. This will allow us to develop our long-established brands further and open up new opportunities for the company,” says NP Foods CEO Rolands Gulbis.

NP Foods had a consolidated turnover of EUR 77.1 million in 2013, with a normalised operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 7.5 million. The company has four factories in Latvia and one in Lithuania, and a total of 1,100 employees.

Under the acquisition agreement, Orkla will purchase 100% of the shares in the companies held by Nordic Partners Foods Ltd*, which is owned by the Latvian investment company Nordic Partners and the Icelandic fund BIL ehf.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval from the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian competition authorities. By mutual agreement, the purchase price is not being disclosed at this stage.

In connection with this announcement, a press conference will be held at 14.00 (Latvian time) on 26 August 2014 at the Laima Chocolate Museum in Riga. Address: Miera iela 22, Rīga, LV-1013.

Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and concept solutions for the retail, food service and bakery markets in the Nordic countries and the Baltics, and to selected markets in Central Europe, Russia and India. Orkla is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange and based in Oslo, Norway. In 2013, Orkla’s turnover totalled NOK 33 billion, and the group had around 17,000 employees.

*The companies held by Nordic Partners Foods Ltd are AS Gutta, NP Foods SIA, AS Staburadze, AS Laima, UAB Margiris and SIA Detente.Orkla ASA

© Food and Drink Industry

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