Madrid (April 3rd ,2003) – Ebro Puleva SA announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase the retail rice brands of Kraft Foods in Germany, Denmark and Austria subject to approval by the German competition authorities. The purchase includes the Reis-Fit® brand marketed in Germany and Austria and Ris-Fix® in Denmark with combined gross sales of over 27 million in 2002.
The purchasing price has been 21 million. This transaction is conditional on receiving the required regulatory approvals.
Reis-Fit will be marketed in Germany and Austria by Euryza GmbH, which is an Ebro Puleva subsidiary jointly owned with Riviana Foods. Once approved, the combination of Reis-Fit® and its existing Oryza® brand, would make Euryza the leader in the German retail rice market . Acquisition of the Ris-Fix® brand also provides a significant entry into the branded Danish retail market. The Danish business will be managed by Boost Nutrition C.V., also jointly owned by Ebro-Puleva and Riviana Foods.
“This acquisition is an important step in further strengthening our position in the northern European rice market,” said Antonio Hernández, Ebro Puleva Vice Chairman “The combination of the Reis-Fit® and Oryza® brands offer significant synergies: Oryza® is the leader in rice specialties, the fastest growing market segment, while Reis-Fit® is a leader in boil-in-bag rice, the biggest segment of value added rice.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Ronnie Bell, Group Vice President Kraft Foods International and President, European Union said, “This transaction reflects Kraft Foods’ strategy of focusing on growing its leading brands in its core categories. Rice is not a core category for Kraft in Europe and we therefore believe that this business is a stronger fit for Ebro-Puleva. We are delighted to have reached this agreement.”
Ebro Puleva is the leading Spanish food group, with interests in sugar, dairy and rice products. With consolidated turnover of 2.150 million, its brands include Puleva® dairy products, Azucarera® sugar, Cigala® rice, Oryza® rice and Bosto® rice. Visit our website at www.ebropuleva.com; www.oryza.de.
Based in Houston, Texas, Riviana Foods Inc. is one of the largest processors, marketers and distributors of branded and private-label rice products in the United States. Principal brands include Mahatma®, Carolina® and Success®. In addition to the United States and Europe, the Company has food operations in Central America. Visit our website at www.riviana.com
Kraft Foods Inc. (www.kraft.com) is the largest branded food and beverage company headquartered in the United States and the second largest worldwide. Kraft Foods markets many of the world’s leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 150 countries