Bell Food Group's Hügli Acquisition Unconditionally Approved
Bell Food Group has announced that the European Commission's competition authorities have unconditionally approved the acquisition of the Swiss-based food company Hügli Holding Aktiengesellschaft.
On 13 January 2018, Bell entered a purchase agreement with Dr. A. Stoffel Holding AG, the majority shareholder of Hügli, holding 50.2% of capital and 65.0% of voting rights.
Bell Food Group, also based in Switzerland, is one of the leading meat processors and producers of convenience products in Europe.
The company announced it was buying a majority stake in Hügli last month, while offering up the remaining shares for public tender.
The sale is expected to be completed on 21 February 2018, according to Bell Food Group.
On 15 January, Bell Food Group pre-announced a public tender offer for the still publicly held bearer shares in Hügli. The corresponding offer prospectus is due to be published on 26 February.
The group previously said that this acquisition will ’significantly expand’ its position in the European convenience food market. It also planned to raise approximately CHF 600 million to finance the purchase and further growth investments in this sector.
"As well as strengthening our traditional areas of business, the acquisition of Hügli marks an important milestone in our growth strategy in the convenience sector,” Hansueli Loosli, chairman of Bell Food Group, said at the time the deal was announced.
"We believe this combination has great potential to benefit our customers, employees and shareholders.”
In September 2017, Bell finalised a full takeover of Hilcona, a Liechtenstein-based convenience foods producer.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.