· The operation is valued at 195 million euro.
· Ebro will subscribe one-quarter of the capital increase to be made by SOS, in a sum of 50 million euro.
· Antonio Hernández and Demetrio Carceller will join the Board of the SOS Group.
Madrid, 25 November 2010. The boards of Ebro and SOS Group have reached an agreement for Ebro to purchase the SOS rice division for 195 million euro. The deal will be finally closed once approved by the financial institutions that are creditors of SOS and the anti-trust authorities.
The SOS rice business complements the presence of the Ebro rice division in Spain and the USA, opens the doors to the Netherlands market and strengthens its position on other European markets and in the Middle East. With a turnover of 250 million euro in 2009 and an operating margin (EBITDA before overheads) of 30 million euro, it has leading brands such as SOS, Lassie, Blue Ribbon and Abu Bint and strong market positions in Spain, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and certain markets in the USA.
The Ebro board has also resolved to subscribe to the capital increase in SOS, commencing last Tuesday, 23 November, in a sum of 50 million euro. This will give Ebro a stake of approximately 10% in the increased capital and permit Antonio Hernández, Chairman of Ebro, and Demetrio Carceller, Director of Ebro, to join the SOS board.
In the opinion of Antonio Hernández Callejas: ¿This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an interest in a company which, apart from being world leader in its sector, operates in markets with enormous growth prospects. We believe the SOS Group has potential to further improve its productivity and efficiency, continuing the trend it has followed in recent months, despite operating within a restrictive financial framework and in a generally adverse economic context¿.
Ebro is the leading Group in the Spanish food sector in terms of turnover, profit, market capitalisation and international presence. Ebro is world leader in the rice sector and the second group in the international pasta sector. It has leading brands in each of these sectors, including: Panzani®, Ronzoni®, Skinner®, Healthy Harvest®, American Beauty®, Saint Giorgio®, Catelli®, Lancia®, Birkel®, 3 Glocken®, Schuele®, Minuto® and Nudel Up® in pastas and sauces; and Mahatma®, Success®, Carolina®, Minute Rice®, Lustucru®, Taureau Ailé®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Brillante®, Nomen®, La Cigala® and La Fallera® in rice.
About SOS Group
SOS is one of the leading Spanish food groups. It has a strong international presence, operating in more than ninety countries, and is world leader in the olive oil sector. The company has an impressive range of over fifty brands, including its principal brands Carbonell, Koipe, Koipesol, Carapelli and Bertolli in the edible oils business; SOS, Lassie, Comet and Blue Ribbon in the rice sector and Louit in vinegars.